Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 07:59
KLM not giving in to union's ultimatum on ground crew contracts
KLM will not be giving in to union FNV's ultimatum in the talks for better working conditions for the airline's ground crew, the Dutch airline said on Tuesday. According to KLM, responding to FNV's demands "would be irresponsible given the situation of the company", ANP reports.. FNV set the ultimatum to stop cutbacks on the ground crew last week. According to the union, KLM has been cutting on their working conditions for years, while the recent improvement in the airline's financial performance offers room for investments. This brings negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement for the ground crew - about 14,500 workers including the technicians, baggage handlers and check-in staff - to a standstill. KLM believes that it made a "balanced proposal" to the unions. "Further adjustments will price KLM out of the market and make growth plans impossible", the airline said, adding that implementing FNV's proposals would increase costs by tens of millions of euros a year "The reality is that the world changed around us", according to KLM. The airline needs to stay competitive. "To be able to invest and grow, it is necessary that KLM reduces its costs." KLM CEO Pieter Elbers adds that four of the five unions took KLM's last proposal and presented it to their members. "I am confident that FNV too will chose for what is important for the KLM staff." FNV will consider how they will react to KLM's decision and give a full statement during the course of Wednesday.