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Strikes trigger looming showdown with KLM unions

November 4, 2016 Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Dutch national airline KLM has applied for a court order in the face of cabin crew industrial action, which has seen short strikes held before each flight, reports from the Netherlands say.

The union action began with 10 minute strikes, increasing to 20 minutes, then 30 minutes. The court hearing is expected to be held later today.

Union negotiators have refused to talk with KLM, in protest at the airline’s recent decision to cut cabin crew numbers on long-haul flights on its B777s, B787s and A330s.

KLM Boeing 777

KLM Boeing 777

“KLM has received a response from FNV (Dutch Trade Union Federation) Cabin Crew indicating that it will not be complying with KLM’s demand for it to enter into consultation,” KLM said in a statement.

“This means that KLM will be initiating preliminary relief proceedings requesting the court to rule on the validity of the consultation obligations of the cabin unions under the applicable collective labour agreement,” the statement continued.

Dutch media have warned that strikes and go-slows could cause trigger major flight delays at Amsterdam’s busy Schiphol airport.

Ironically, the Amsterdam-based carrier has generally enjoyed smoother industrial relations than its partner, Air France. In September, the Air France-KLM Group said to be casting aside the head-to-head, hard-line stance that antagonised unions and ended up with an Air France manager having his shirt ripped off his back when workers stormed a boardroom.

The new, gentler approach is called “Trust Together”.

Written by Peter Needham

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