KLM: Pilots call off Monday morning strike after contract talks progress
KLM pilots called off a planned one-hour strike scheduled for Monday morning after the Dutch airline reached an agreement on several issues with the pilots' union, VNV. The two sides will continue to develop the framework they created during contract talks on Sunday to form a new collective bargaining agreement.
The union's pilots were set to go on strike starting at 11 a.m. on Monday. The largely symbolic strike was to last for about 60 minutes, and would have impacted between 10 and 20 flights departing from Amsterdam.
KLM said in a statement on Sunday that "additional agreements were made about pay increases for the pilots." The pilots were concerned about several points, including pay. KLM had offered a 5 percent wage increase per year, while the pilots wanted 6 percent more.
"The agreement in principle ensures that pilots can continue to do their work in a responsible and safe manner and our employment conditions remain at the same level as the pilots around us. This means that a wage increase of 5.5% on average per year has been agreed over the two-year term commencing on September 1, 2023. In addition, a one-off payment of 2% has been agreed to compensate for the late commencement date of the collective labor agreement, which already ended in March 2023," the VNV said.
The two sides also agreed on better scheduling and planning to allow pilots to better manage their paid time off, and doing a better job of including pilots in decisions regarding flight safety.
The advancing negotiations will continue based on points where the union and the airline currently have a deal. A new two-year contract will apply retroactively from March 2 once it is finalized. It will still be subject to approval by the union members.
"We are happy that we were ultimately able to achieve this result through constructive consultation," KLM said.