Trade unions FNV and CNV, as well as employers' organization VNO-NCW, respond positively to the billions of euros in support for airline KLM. Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Finance) announced the support of 2 to 4 billion euros in loans and guarantees on Friday at a press conference. The support is needed, because KLM hardly flies due to the corona crisis and has therefore run into financial difficulties.
"We are happy and grateful for the support package," said spokesperson Joost van Doesburg of FNV Aviation. "KLM and Schiphol are important to the Dutch economy, so it is good that they are supported." The employers' organization VNO-NCW is also satisfied with the support and calls a strong KLM "a basic condition for our prosperity".
Hoekstra also emphasized the importance of the airline at the press conference and stated that KLM, in combination with Schiphol, provides approximately 114,000 jobs. "You can see it as the first domino at the start of a long line. If KLM falls over, it will not only have consequences for the company and the staff, but for all the stones that will come afterwards," Hoekstra explained.
The government's support does not come without conditions: no dividend distribution to shareholders, no bonuses and no profit sharing for staff. Requirements are also set for profit appropriation, working conditions and sustainability. Michel Wallaard, negotiator at CNV Vaknemers, understands this. "We understand that KLM is reclaiming something. It seems reasonable to us that the strongest shoulders bear the heaviest burdens, as Minister Hoekstra indicated."
Van Doesburg hopes that the strongest shoulders will carry the heaviest loads. "There are also a lot of less strong shoulders at KLM who earn the minimum wages, such as platform staff or people in the baggage basement. They have little to hand in. We hope that these people are spared from cutting the profit distribution, for example."