KLM has called the trade unions for crisis talks. The parties must once again table amendments to the working conditions in order to secure emergency aid from the Dutch government, totalling EUR 3.4 billion. That’s what sources at KLM say, after previous reports by The Telegraph.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra (Finance) did not agree with the proposal as it stands. According to Hoekstra, the terms of the agreements on wage moderation are too short and should apply as long as the aid package runs until 2025.
According to the initiates, Hoekstra already knew at the beginning of October that the duration of the agreement was shorter than the duration of the aid package. It also draws attention to the situation in France, where the public authorities and Air France are working together to secure the future of the company. At KLM, they feel put on the spot at the last minute.
In the Netherlands, everyone seems to have their own agenda, so it sounds. Hoekstra thus “sold” the future of Dutch aviation. In addition to the government, the unions are involved. According to KLM sources, the situation is therefore unworkable for a crisis to be resolved.
In Hague it is mainly the attitude of the trade unions that creates frustration. Initiates point out that Hoekstra has repeatedly indicated that KLM’s cost base was already a concern for the coronacrisis. They say that KLM-top man Pieter Elbers is also aware of this, but the trade unions are hindering structural reforms.
If KLM does not come up with a different plan, the company’s survival will be threatened and important international aviation connections will be jeopardised. The parties have two days to come up with a new proposal. At KLM, the money is ” badly needed.” The company writes deep red figures due to the crisis.
Hague sources speak of a devil’s dilemma. On the one hand, the cabinet does not want to give up Schiphol’s position as an international aviation hub. But supporting KLM without fulfilling the conditions set would create an undesirable precedent at a time when many companies are struggling to survive.