KLM pilots preparing labor actions over contract talks

Behind the scenes KLM pilots are preparing labor actions to force the Dutch airline to meet their demands for a new collective bargaining agreement, pilots union VNV confirmed to Het Parool. KLM wants to conclude a long-term agreement with the pilots. But according to VNV, there are so many disagreements about major topics that a short-term in-between collective bargaining agreement must first be concluded to restore calm while the talks on a long-term agreement continue.

Early next month a special labor action committee will be established, the union said. The committee will consider an ultimatum for KLM. If the airline does not meet their demands, labor actions are inevitable, the union said. Exactly what these actions will entail, is not yet clear. 

On Wednesday KLM pilots also launched a petition to stop KLM removing the pilot's cap from the uniform as of January 1st, the Telegraaf reports. KLM no longer "sees the added value" of the pilots cap. According to VNV, it is unfortunate that this part of the uniform - which appeals so much to the imagination - will be removed from pilots' heads. "Many pilots wanted to become a pilot as a child, partly because of the image, and the cap is part of that."

KLM is also facing looming actions from its cabin crew members. Union FNV already announced a 24 hour cabin crew strike on Monday, January 8th. According to the union, this will result in fewer or even no KLM flights departing from Schiphol that day. The union is still protesting against KLM's decision, made over a year ago, to have one fewer crew member on long distance flights. Whether this strike will actually happen is not yet clear. Union VNC, the largest cabin crew union, is still talking with KLM about a new collective bargaining agreement. And there is the possibility that a judge will ban the strike if KLM decides to take the matter to court.


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