LONDON – Aviation in Europe is facing one of the worse manpower shortages in many decades. With the rise in commodity prices and labour shortages, European airlines like KLM are facing dilemmas which leads to long queues at airport and flight cancellations.
In The Netherlands, its national flag carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is making headlines where they are actively engaging in dialogues with its ground personnel trade union for a new collective labour agreement or CLA. The CLA will remain in enforcement from the 1st of March 2022 and will be extended to the 1st of March 2023.
The airline is by far very satisfied with the progress of the talks. Working with the unions and having them agree on the airline’s terms and conditions will bring stability to KLM’s operations.
This will also improve the outlook and the working standards and conditions for KLM’s ground staff and will align the airline more towards the current economic climate.
Due to the positive outcome of the talks, the unions will now hand over the outcomes of the negotiations between them and KLM to their members. The CLA will be ratified and come into effect once members are satisfied with the contents.
Always a Constant Change
To arrive at this agreement was not at all easy. Given there is always a constant change of circumstances for the Dutch airline, which are mainly volatile and unexpected. One needs to credit the airline for being able to replay the loans on time to the Dutch government. This indicates that the airline is in good financial condition.
Throughout the pandemic, the KLM staff has been resilient, flexible and strong. This shows the level of commitment and loyalty from employees to the brand despite going through tough times, including pay and benefits.
What else is on the table?
Despite the world not being fully out of the pandemic, external factors have been knifing KLM’s progress to restore full normalcy. This includes sky high rocket inflation across the globe, a dip in purchasing power, high workload and pressure and a scarce labour supply; all of which KLM is currently facing every day.
The airline has offered a gesture for a 2% increase in salary as of 1st October 2022, and another 2% on top of it as of 1st March 2023. The new CLA agreement will enable all staff in KLM to have peace of mind while serving the Dutch national carrier.
Current and future staff will benefit from this as a whole, and this will make the airline resilient to external shocks. Union members nevertheless have to consider the position that KLM is going through, and like many airlines, let it be – the pandemic, high inflation, the war in Ukraine, geopolitical tensions, exchange rates etc…