KLM ground crew at Schiphol will strike for two hours on Monday morning
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    KLM ground crew at Schiphol will strike for two hours on Monday morning

    © Saschaporsche/Wikimedia

    Ground crew working for KLM at Schiphol airport will down tools on Monday morning between 08:00 AM and 10:00 AM, local union FNV announced.

    Staff at the airline are striking for more pay, an increase in the number of workers employed and better working hours. Talks between unions and management have broken down. FNV was demanding a 4% pay increase each year, while management was offering a three-year package that would increase wages by a total of 6% over the period.

    KLM argues the strike is unnecessary because its offer, made on Thursday, is still on the table. However, the union argues they were given an ultimatum to accept the offer, and time has now run out. The union made it clear on Friday that industrial action would follow as a result.

    The airline said it would do its best to make sure passengers suffer as little disruption as possible. “We would ask our passengers on Sunday evening and Monday to keep abreast of information posted on the KLM website and via the KLM app,” a company spokesperson said.

    The action is expected to affect not only KLM flights but also flights by partner airlines Delta and Air France. The Dutch airline declined to say how many flights could be affected in the time period, but the VRT reports that KLM and its partners have 150 scheduled flights taking off and landing in the two hours affected.

    The strike will affect all ground operations with the exception of check-in. The union predicts that 80% of ground staff will follow the strike instruction.

    Meanwhile, a strike of security personnel at Schiphol announced for Sunday was canceled late on Saturday after FNV agreed to go back to the negotiating table with airport authorities. The union has declined to comment before talks resume on Monday, according to industry website Luchtvaartnieuws.nl.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times