Job losses mount as KLM crew agree to reorganisation plans


Airline KLM has reached agreement with cabin and ground crew unions about cost cutting and a reorganisation in order to meet the terms of the government’s €3.4bn loan, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday.

The Dutch flag carrier had until Friday to come up with a deal, which is likely to mean several thousand job losses. No deal has reportedly yet been struck with the airline’s 3,000 pilots.

Details have not yet been published, but the cuts will add to the growing list of reorganisations and redundancies in the second half of the year, as the effects of the coronavirus crisis work through into the jobs market.

On Wednesday, Shell said it would cut up to 9,000 jobs in a reorganisation, while construction group Bam said it was reducing its workforce by several hundred. At Tata Steel in IJmuiden, 850 jobs are said to be at risk.


‘It is only logical that companies are announcing reorganisations now,’ analyst Corné van Zeijl told the Telegraaf. ‘Everyone has been watching how the coronavirus crisis develops. Now we know the situation is not improving and a second wave is on its way, companies are having to react.’

The Dutch unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 6.5% next year as the full impact of the coronavirus crisis hits.

Tilburg University professor Ton Wilthagen told the Telegraaf that the reorganisations are not only a consequence of coronavirus. ‘The biggest Dutch employers will all become smaller via digitalisation, automation and robots,’ he said. ‘That added to coronavirus is a pretty poisonous cocktail when it comes to jobs.’

The Dutch government has allocated €1.4bn to help people who lose their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis to retrain and find new work.

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