The company has encountered major financial problems due to the corona virus and the imminent cessation of international air travel and cannot make it without government support.
The cabinet does not want to give KLM any more money unless all KLM employees give up their five-year salary. The cabinet had previously set this five-year term as a requirement for support. However, the pilots’ union VNV rejects this. Today there was another meeting between KLM and the unions with no result.
The cabinet refuses to give in to the position of the pilots union. “I think your stance is risky for the company’s continued existence,” says Hoekstra. The FNV, which represents part of the ground and cabin personnel, has not yet signed either.
KLM can get a total of 3.4 billion euros in state aid, but then the company will have to make significant cuts over this period. The Cabinet considers this a reasonable requirement. KLM has already received a lot of support compared to other Dutch companies. “What we’re doing is in the interests of the Netherlands, but it has to be in balance. It’s about taxpayers’ money.”
The VNV does not want to commit to cuts until 2025. “This specific adaptation of our agreement cannot be realized at the moment,” the pilots union wrote in a statement. The cabin crew of the VNC, the office staff and the aerospace technicians are willing to sacrifice five years of wages.
The KLM management appealed again this afternoon to approve the cabinet’s request. “In the interests of its members, all KLM employees and the future of the company,” said the KLM top. If there is no state aid, the company of 30,000 employees will almost certainly go bankrupt.
Hoekstra does not want to speak of bankruptcy yet. KLM still has some money. “But they can’t take it any longer,” said Hoekstra.
Update 1: In one letter Hoekstra addresses the decision to stop granting state aid to the House of Representatives.