KLM ground crew issue strike ultimatum demanding 14.3% pay raise

KLM ground crew is threatening to go on strike if the airline company does not respond to the ultimatum issued by trade union FNV regarding the new collective bargaining agreement, FNV reported on Thursday. They demand a wage increase of 14.3 percent to compensate for inflation over 2023 and automatic price compensation for 2024. The ultimatum will expire on September 14.

KLM previously proposed a 9 percent wage increase over two years, with the possibility of a correction for inflation of up to 2 percent by January 1, 2025. FNV Luchtvaart stated that the new collective bargaining agreement offered by KLM to ground staff “is grossly inadequate” and demands instead a 14.3 percent wage increase to compensate for inflation over 2023 and automatic price compensation for 2024.

David van de Geer, the director of FNV Luchtvaart, criticized KLM’s proposed collective bargaining agreement, declaring that the increased wage offer is insufficient as employees continue facing deteriorating work conditions. “Wage is important, but it’s not the silver bullet,” he said.

He emphasized that besides better wages, the agreement should guarantee safe and healthy working conditions, with the establishment of occupancy and overload standards. “Keep track of how many people are lifting and how long they can recover. And record the minimum number of people needed to clear a plane,” he explained.

FNV Luchtvaart also wants an early retirement scheme and permanent contracts to foster job security. “This ensures continuity in the company and prevents unrest among the staff,” van de Geer said.

The demands were handed to the company’s management on Thursday. The ultimatum will expire on Thursday, September 14. “If the management has not announced anything by then, a strike will follow,” Van de Geer warned.

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