Unions reach collective bargaining agreement for KLM ground staff
Trade unions FNV and CNV have reached a collective bargaining agreement with KLM for the airline's ground staff. It is now up to union members to approve it. If they do so, the previously threatened strikes will be off the table, according to CNV negotiator Souleiman Amallah. FNV executive David van de Geer called it a "wonderful proposal."
KLM has about 15,000 ground employees. These include employees who load and unload baggage, tow planes or talk to passengers in departure lounges. Under the agreements reached, their salaries will increase by 135 euros from September, in proportion to their employment. From October 1, salaries will be raised by 6 percent, followed by another 3 percent increase on July 1 next year. In addition, employees will also receive a one-time payment of 500 euros gross in January 2024.
One of the main issues in the collective labor agreement negotiations was compensation for rapidly rising inflation. This was also taken into account in the agreement. If inflation exceeds 3 percent throughout 2024, workers' wages will be increased by another 2 percent on Jan. 1, 2025.
Earlier, FNV and CNV threatened to take action among ground staff as collective bargaining had reached an impasse. The unions gave KLM an ultimatum, but shortly before the deadline, both unions decided to resume talks. With results.
Amallah is pleased with the agreements. He praises the dedication of CNV members, without whom this agreement would not have been reached. "By standing up for themselves and for each other, they will now receive a wage increase that is commensurate with their commitment to KLM," the union official said. "I am pleased that with this result, the employer is also finally showing its appreciation for them."
In a statement, KLM called the result a "significant step forward for all colleagues on the ground." According to the airline, the other unions involved, De Unie, NVLT, and VKP, will say at a later date whether the agreement is suitable to be presented to members. KLM hopes "that this will soon lead to an agreement with all five ground unions."
Reporting by ANP