Thursday, August 4, 2016 - 07:46
Court blocks KLM ground crew strike
The court in Haarlem blocked a strike for part of the KLM ground crew union FNV had planned for Wednesday night. The court decided it needs more time to consider the matter and will give a final ruling on August 11th. Until then FNV can not arrange a strike involving KLM ground staff, NU.nl reports. KLM filed the lawsuit to prevent the strike, which was planned for between 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The airline argued that the strike would affect 12 thousand passengers and cost 3 to 4 million euros. According to KLM, it also only involves about 250 FNV members, out of the over 14 thousand employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement. On Wednesday Schiphol Group also spoke out against the strike, saying that the airport and its passengers would suffer "disproportionate damage". In court on Wednesday afternoon the judge tried to get both parties back to the negotiation table, but it was unsuccessful. According to FNV, KLM refuses to give room for negotiation on any points. And KLM wants to leave any proposals for the negotiating table. The judge was critical of FNV refusing to continue the negotiations. But the union feels that the airline is doing little to improve the collective bargaining agreement. KLM is "satisfied" with the verdict, the airline said in a statement on its website. "We are pleased that our passengers and our employees will not become the victims of this FNV action tonight. Although only about 150 to a maximum 250 out of the 14,500 employees would have been on strike, this would have consequences for thousands of passengers." The union is surprised and displeased with the ruling. "How can a judge ask for time to consider and casually ban strikes for eight days at the same time?" a spokesperson said to NU.nl. "That shows that he doesn't know for sure, so then you can't ban something. That's crooked." On its website, the union assures members that the fact that the strike was delayed does not mean it's been definitely cancelled. "On August 11th the judge will make a final ruling on our right to perform work stoppages. Striking is a fundamental right and the KLM staff remains prepared to take action for their rights!", Zakaraia Boufangacha, director of FNV Aviation, said. "Whatever the final verdict will by. It will not sweep the problems of the KLM staff off the table. We will discuss with our members how to creatively proceed. One thing is certain, we will continue to fight for a good and safe work environment for the KLM employees with the associated work conditions."