POST Online Media Lite Edition


KLM wants to freeze salaries of 15,000 ground workers

Staff writer |
Some 15,000 ground workers would see their salaries frozen, and would lose one of their paid days off per year.

Article continues below

This is according to a proposal submitted by the the management of Dutch airline KLM to union representatives.

The company would also like to replace some 3,000 baggage handlers and ground crews with temporary employees, the union CNV Vakmensen told newspaper De Telegraaf.

It’s all part of a KLM plan to bring costs down annually by 1.5 percent. One key feature of the proposal is an end to salary bumps given to workers whose shifts are outside business hours, something the airline sees as being outdated.

A KLM spokesman told the newspaper that the 2015 annual report shows the airline is on its way to a strong recovery, and defended the proposal to the union.

“This is in line with our five-year reorganization plan. We need to be more streamlined, cheaper and faster, and for now carry on with this chosen path.”

“This is shocking. Employees will lose their jobs if we agree. KLM wants to invest the savings in a new fleet, but therefore there is less work. That is the great irony,” said CNV union leader Dolf Polders.

Polders did not specifically state why new airplanes translates into less available work.

"osts have to be reduced further and income has to increase. Only then will it be possible to continue growth and to implement the investment plan: investment in the customer, product and, importantly, in personnel.

"Investment in equipment, digitalisation and employment conditions are crucial. Growth is vital for KLM and brings employment opportunities. Salaries at KLM are often higher than competitors’.

"Alternatives, such as outsourcing or salary cuts, would be more unpleasant for staff. The goals laid out in Perform 2020 lie at the heart of the forthcoming CLA negotiations: reductions to unit costs of 1.5% per year and an annual increase in productivity of 4%," KLM said

What to read next

SSE to cut gas prices 5.3% in Great Britain
OFD Foods to build $25 million facility in Monroe County, N.Y.
Sealed Air to invest $58 million in Charlotte, N.C.