KLM cabin crew strike threat averted as union opens door to further talks
The threat of a strike by KLM cabin crew is off the table for now. The VNC union for Dutch cabin crew set an ultimatum for the airline, which was set to expire on Thursday, but has now postponed the response deadline. According to VNC Chairman Chris van Elswijk, KLM contacted the union again, finding "starting points" for further discussions.
The VNC is demanding an 11 percent salary increase for KLM's cabin crew for 2023. From next year, the union wants wages to automatically rise with prices, plus a little extra. The union also wants firm agreements on a social plan, including, for example, guarantees of reemployment in the event of reorganizations, similar to the commitments made during the major job reductions during the Covid-19 crisis.
Last week, the union threatened actions if KLM did not meet the VNC's demands by Thursday. Strikes were not ruled out in these potential actions. If the new discussions with KLM do not yield results, actions might still be threatened.
The Dutch division of Air France-KLM recently averted potential actions from its 15,000 ground crew staff. The company reached an agreement in principle with the FNV and CNV unions on a new collective labor agreement for these employees. These include employees who load and unload baggage, tow planes, or talk to passengers in departure lounges. On average, the wages for these workers will increase by nearly 14 percent over a two-year period, provided the unions approve the agreement.
This week, KLM pilots also threatened actions due to dissatisfaction with KLM's collective labor agreement offer, but it remains unclear if and when these would take place.
Reporting by ANP