The unions, but also the House of Representatives, believe that staff who earn up to 1.5 times the average should be spared as much as possible. KLM decided last month to unilaterally postpone a wage increase. Trade union FNV is threatening to take this to court.
The airline receives 3.4 billion euros in loans and guarantees from the government to get through the crisis. A condition of this is that the costs at KLM are significantly reduced. The company also receives many millions in wage subsidies.
If the current crisis continues until the end of next year as some experts predict, it is not certain that Air France-KLM will survive. “That is not automatic,” said the minister. That is why, in talks with the company, he has also insisted that “change the course”.
Hoekstra points out that other aviation companies in Europe are taking hard action. At Lufthansa, pilots will hand over about 40 percent of their pay over a two-year period, and thousands of jobs are being cut at British Airways.
KLM has to come up with a restructuring plan on 1 October. Hoekstra has not yet seen that plan, he said. Trade unions and KLM started a series of talks at the end of last month about cost savings to get the company through the corona crisis.
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