KLM averts pilot strike action at the last minute 

KLM and its pilot union, the VNV, agreed to a new deal, averting a strike at the last minute
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KLM, the de facto Dutch flag carrier, has averted a pilots’ strike after the airline and the union representing its pilots reached an outline agreement.

According to the announcement on September 24, 2023, the strike was scheduled to take place on September 25, 2023.

“KLM and [Dutch Airline Pilots Association (Vereniging Nederlandse Verkeersvliegers, VNV] reached an outline agreement on a new collective labor agreement for pilots on Sunday evening, September 24,” the airline said.

As a result of the outline agreement, the strike was canceled.

However, in the next few days, KLM and VNV will “further develop the outline agreement and VNV will submit it to its Members’ Council”. In the deal, the two sides agreed to further pay increases for pilots and if the Members’ Council approves the agreement, it will run retroactively from March 2, 2023, to February 28, 2025.

“We are happy that we were ultimately able to achieve this result through constructive consultation,” KLM concluded its statement.

Meanwhile, the VNV said the union was pleased the airline took “the necessary steps to create a collective labor agreement that does justice to our reasonable wishes and proposals”.

The new agreement means “that a wage increase of 5.5% on average per year has been agreed over the two-year term commencing on September 1, 2023,” the union continued, adding that pilots will receive a 2% one-off payment. The payment will “compensate for the late commencement date of the collective labor agreement, which has already since March 2023 had ended”.

VNV also detailed that the new collective labor agreement means that pilots will now be able to plan time off more easily, with further increases in pilot productivity also providing higher revenues for KLM. The union added that the productivity growth will add “hundreds of millions of additional revenues”.

“One of the most important things was to be involved in decision-making about the possible future introduction of flying with fewer pilots in the cockpit,” VNV noted. “KLM and the VNV jointly confirm that, just as now, the safety of the operation is and remains paramount in all cases.”

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