Strike looming at KLM ground crew as unions withdraw from contract talks

The trade union CNV also withdrew from negotiations on a new collective labor agreement for the KLM ground crew. According to negotiator Souleiman Amallah, the CNV has reached the end of negotiations with the airline, and the unions will consult with their members about possible actions. A strike is not ruled out. Earlier, the FNV also noted that the differences between the unions and KLM’s wishes are “simply too great.”

According to Amallah, KLM offers a 7.5 percent wage increase for a two-year collective agreement frot he approximately 15,000 ground crew workers. “That’s too little,” he said. “As a result, employees do not feel they are getting the appreciation they deserve. We see a high workload, high absenteeism, and a lot of dissatisfaction among the ground staff. KLM will really have to come with higher wages because the employees will not accept this.” According to Amallah, this concerns, for example, baggage handlers, employees of the fuel services, and people working at the gates.

FNV is already organizing member meetings later this week, in which the union wants to discuss possible next steps. CNV will hold action meetings early next week. There the unions will gauge their members’ willingness to take action. “If more than three-quarters of the members are willing to take action – and it looks like it – then we will send KLM an ultimatum and prepare actions.”

KLM said in a response that it would continue to investigate how an “appropriate collective bargaining agreement” for ground staff can be reached “with all parties involved.” The airline is discussing this with several unions.

Reporting by ANP

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