According to sources from The Hague, there is a lot of frustration in the cabinet about the refusal of KLM staff to also surrender salary in the long term. Patience in The Hague is running out, says an initiate. In any case, the government cannot approve the reorganization plan as it stands.
Before the summer, the cabinet promised KLM 3.4 billion euros in aid. Part consists of a loan, part of guarantees. The money will only be paid out if all conditions have been met.
For example, personnel costs must be structurally reduced. Especially the pilots – who sometimes earn more than the prime minister – can give up part of their salary, they find in The Hague. In the reorganization plan that KLM concluded with the unions at the beginning of this month, agreements have only been made about the short-term return of salary.
Behind the scenes, the cabinet made it clear weeks ago that this is not enough. The late October deadline for approval of the reorganization plan is approaching. Still, no additional agreements have been made about a long-term wage sacrifice.
Make a decision
The cabinet wants to make the decision by tomorrow at the latest. “If nothing changes, the multibillion-dollar loan to KLM threatens to end,” says political reporter Roel Schreinemachers.
KLM is very important to the Netherlands and Schiphol’s so-called hub function. The cabinet is therefore willing to go far to guide KLM through the crisis. “But not at any price,” says Schreinemachers. In any case, Hoekstra does not seem to intend to limit the requirements he has set for aid.
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