FNV and the airline made additional agreements on Monday about the contribution of the employees that is required to qualify for the loan package from Minister Hoekstra. Pilot’s union VNV is therefore the only union that does not yet agree with the minister’s demands. VNV reports on Monday evening that it is still in talks with the KLM management.
The FNV trade union has drawn up a separate ‘side-letter’, in which it is stipulated between KLM and FNV that all employees will hand in wages for two years, plus that after the agreement has expired, free negotiations can take place over the next period of up to five years. “The Wopke clause only covers the term of five years. That decree paralyzed us, ”says FNV campaign leader Joost van Doesburg.
KLM states in a response that it is ‘a step closer to the loans from the government’. “This is crucial for KLM,” the airline reports.
‘Now for the pilots’
“I am very happy that FNV has taken responsibility. That’s how I know the union, ”says Hoekstra in a first reaction. “Now for the pilots. And I hope that they will soon come to this insight too. ” The minister says with ‘some surprise’ to look at the pilots who have not yet tackled: “As far as I am concerned, there is not much to negotiate.”
On Monday, there was a meeting with the supervisory board and the KLM top about the impasse, which is causing major damage to the airline. The general public and politicians have been devastated in recent days by the pilots’ refusal to sign.
By signing FNV, the pressure of KLM’s survival is now completely on the shoulders of the pilots. According to insiders, Minister Hoekstra already hoped that the FNV would come out with the airline. As a result, the pilots are still alone in their resistance and the social pressure on them is growing.
‘Geen white check’
Pilot union VNV emphasized on Monday that it did not want to allow KLM to go bankrupt, but also that it was not willing to sign a blank check. “We want to have clarity about what we are signing for,” emphasized VNV chairman Willem Schmid. The pilots do not want to sign a blank check because they do not know the content of KLM’s agreements with the Ministry of Finance.
FNV and the other unions at KLM were attacked for the weekend with the news that the minister wanted a longer term for all retrenchment than KLM had previously agreed with the unions. Those agreements ran for 2.5 years for ground and cabin crew and 1.5 years for pilots. However, the minister wanted a separate statement that the unions are committed to wage moderation over the life of the loan.
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