KLM: Cuts on salaries and working conditions "inevitable"

KLM's new Dreamliner Boeing 787 boarding for its first flight on Sunday, Nov 22nd, 2015 (Photo: @WandrMe/Twitter)KLM's new Dreamliner Boeing 787 boarding for its first flight on Sunday, Nov 22nd, 2015 (Photo: @WandrMe/Twitter)

In order to maintain the current workforce at KLM, further cuts on wages and working conditions are "inevitable", KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said to Het Parool on Monday. If no cuts are made, the workforce will have to be reduced. KLM therefore wants to implement collective bargaining proposals for its ground staff, despite objections from the unions.

"As long as KLM can continue to grow, we will need smaller interventions. Then we can keep going with the same number of people. We proved last year that such offers have results. We took the first steps, but there is still a long way to go. We need to further cut costs and increase productivity", Elbers said to the newspapers.

This includes freezing the wages of the ground staff, asking them to give up some holidays and hiring more freelancers, according to the newspaper. The five unions that represent the ground staff demand that KLM withdraws these proposals, and they will not talk to the company until this is done.

Last week FNV already conducted protests at the KLM headquarters, demanding that cuts first be made in other parts of the company, such as with the pilots. But according to Elbers, this is impossible. "Last year we already made such agreements with the pilots and cabin crew, for the longer term. Ideally we would have done the same with the ground crew at that time. For me, we still have to do so, with a clear end goal that is positive for everyone."


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