Posb. 7500 jobs cut at KLM: union boss

Thousands of jobs at KLM are at risk. The airline is outsourcing work, making expensive KLM personnel redundant. About 7,500 people could lose their jobs.

Union chairman Reinier Castelein of De Unie expects that the new president director Elbers will reveal a plan to reorganize tomorrow. Tomorrow KLM will also publish the new quarterly figures for the third quarter, but is already clear that the company is struggling.

KLM is struggling with a huge amount of debt. The company hopes to find a solution by removing jobs. A lot of the work will no be done by cheaper external forces. "It means that there will probably no longer be blue KLM trucks driving around, but for example a Shell car," says Castelein, "I hear stories about the impending layoffs so often now that they sound frighteningly realistic in my ears"

Although KLM has major problems, the aviation giant is not about to collapse, says union leader Swen Laarveld of De Unie. "The cash flow is still good and as long as the company can meet its obligations to pay wages, fuel and lease contracts, then there is nothing to worry about."