KLM pilots are considering strikes as collective contract talks between the Dutch airline and trade union VNV stalled. According to the union, its members “massively support” labor actions if KLM doesn’t meet their demands.
The VNV and KLM are struggling to reach agreements on wage increases for pilots and better working conditions, according to the union. The union is particularly pushing for less work pressure, better free time management, and future prospects for the pilots.
The union also wants pilots to have a say in future decisions to move to aircraft with only one pilot in the cockpit. “We want an unequivocal commitment from KLM that safety will continue to come first in the future,” the union said. “Flying aircraft with fewer pilots is only negotiable if this can be done safely.”
According to the VNV, the KLM pilots are frustrated with the airline’s attitude. “KLM has shown little or no movement towards a good collective labor agreement since August,” the union said. It has communicated the pilots’ willingness to go on strike to KLM and “called on it to take substantive steps this week to avert actions.”
The pilots don’t want to strike, the union said. “We prefer to fly our passengers safely, comfortably, and on time to beautiful destinations.” But they will do so if left with no alternative.
“The VNV’s proposal not only does justice to the pilots but is also good for KLM,” the union said. “After all, the VNV is prepared to help solve the crew shortages, which will generate hundreds of millions of additional revenues for KLM.”
This is the second strike looming at KLM in a short time. Last week, the airline averted labor actions among its ground crew by improving its offer less than 24 hours before the trade unions’ ultimatum ran out.