KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has reached agreement with the unions FNV, CNV and De Unie on settlement of KLMå‘s claim for damages filed against ground engineers who participated in the wildcat strike on July 27, 2002. KLM has hereby responded to the unionså’ plea to ease the tension in industrial relations. The Dutch Association of Ground Engineers (NVLT) is deliberating its response.
The parties have now agreed to implement a revised version of the original claim. KLM initially offered the 113 strikers the option of settling out of court for a sum of EUR 2,000 each, or to await legal proceedings in which they would face a claim for damages to the sum of EUR 6,000 each.
The new option agreed on by KLM and the unions is that a test case should be filed against a maximum of four of the strikers, to be appointed by the unions, in which assessment of their individual liability is the key issue. The employees in question will be given the choice of individually ratifying this agreement with KLM by placing their signature. This is necessary because the case in question relates to a conflict between individual employees and their employer. If they choose not to sign the agreement, further legal action may be taken against them after the test case is closed, and they may face claims exceeding the limit of EUR 2,000. KLM has urged the unions to recommend this option to their members, listing this as a precondition. KLM holds that the outcome of the test case shall be binding.
KLM is also prepared to exchange views with the unions on revision of punitive measures.
Should KLM lose the case, it will accept the ruling. However, should the ruling be in KLM’s favor, the EUR 2,000 claim will remain in force. KLM will refrain from collecting said claim while the test case is underway.
KLM has also pledged to adopt a fair and equitable policy with regard to collecting the settlement. Employees will have the option of presenting KLM with a settlement proposal.