KLM pilots planning brief strike on Monday morning
KLM pilots at Schiphol Ariport will stop work for one hour on Monday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to push for a more favorable collective bargaining agreement, labor union VNV reported on Friday. 3,200 pilots are expected to join the strike. VNV chairman Camiel Verhagen estimates the action could result in delays for 15 departing flights.
The VNV wants an annual wage increase of about 6 percent, partly to compensate for high inflation, while KLM has proposed a 5 percent raise. Moreover, KLM pilots are pressing for compensation for their high workloads, more flexibility in scheduling free hours, and involvement in KLM's decision-making regarding the number of pilots assigned to each flight.
Negotiations for a new collective labor agreement have been ongoing for seven months. "Unfortunately, this did not work out and we are forced to step up our actions. This might result in delays for our esteemed passengers. We regret this and will do everything we can to limit inconvenience," VNV stated.
The strike by KLM pilots is scheduled for Monday, September 25, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Around 3,200 pilots are expected to participate in the strike. The union expressed its hope that KLM “fulfill our very reasonable demands.” If an agreement is not reached, VNV warned of further actions, possibly on Monday, October 2.
In response, KLM expressed "regret" over VNV's decision and emphasized their commitment to striving "to the utmost" to reach a "balanced collective labor agreement." Furthermore, the airline noted that staff who are in transit between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. will continue working. KLM will also inform its customers about the implications of the action on their flights.