In principle, KLM and the unions will start talks on Tuesday about the details of the reorganization that was announced on July 31, a spokesman for the company said Monday. Not all unions will queue on the first day, according to KLM there are more consultation dates.
KLM announced on July 31 that the workforce must be reduced by 4,500 to 5,000 FTEs in the course of next year to reach a total of 28,000. Those numbers are based on the current situation. KLM does not rule out that more jobs will be lost if the situation worsens.
The reduction of the workforce is one of the measures KLM is taking to adapt the organization to the new reality in aviation: since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been much less flying.
In exchange for state aid, KLM has made agreements with the government about reducing 'controllable' costs by 15 percent.
Unions were not happy with the unilateral decision
Earlier this month, KLM announced that it would unilaterally suspend the wage increase agreed last year for all employees. The unions are not happy about this, to say the least. "We are not amused", says a spokesman for FNV Aviation. Among other things, FNV wants to make the reversal of this decision the subject of the discussions.
The pilots were not happy with the KLM decision either, although they had suggested exactly this measure themselves before. "We already wanted to postpone the wage increase. But then we wanted to have the reorganization tested by an external party, as has happened in the past", says a spokesperson for the Association of Dutch Airline Pilots (VNV).
Because KLM did not respond to this, the pilots still criticize the unilateral decision of the company. Representation of the pilot's union is absent on Tuesday for technical reasons on the agenda. At other unions, it was therefore unclear whether the planned talks on Tuesday would go ahead. According to KLM, this is the case. There will also be consultations on Wednesday.
The VNV says it has already made a number of agreements with KLM in recent months. "Like about postponing the profit-sharing scheme." Trade union De Unie, which represents the ground crew, joins the talks, but wonders what KLM could expect from the ground staff.
"We have already made our contribution. 2,200 FTEs would fall to the ground staff, but we are already at least 2,600 FTEs that have already been or will be surrendered to temporary contracts, pensions and the voluntary severance scheme."
Cabin trade union wants to hear the story first
The VNC, the largest cabin crew union, has announced that they will be sure to join, regardless of the day they are expected to arrive. "We will then hear the story, what KLM asks of us and how we can ask for it," says a spokesman. "We will enter negotiations on that basis."
In addition to the non-renewal of temporary contracts, the voluntary departure scheme and retirement, according to KLM, a solution still needs to be found for five hundred jobs for ground crew, three hundred for cabin crew, three hundred for the pilots and about four hundred at subsidiaries and within the Air France-KLM group.