Judge: youngest personnel do not have to leave KLM first


The ruling is a defeat for union VNC, which represents cabin crew. They just wanted the newest staff to be fired first.

Last in, first out

VNC says that the so-called last-in-first-out principle has been agreed in the collective labor agreement. The union went to court to force the airline to comply.

The judge does not agree. By being the first to fire the newest employees, an employer would deviate from the norm for large redundancies.

This is only possible if the collective labor agreement contains well-balanced agreements between employees and the employer and there is an independent dismissal committee. All this is not in the current collective labor agreement, the judge decides.

Corona crisis

KLM is hit hard by the corona crisis. A voluntary departure scheme not catching on, so a round of dismissal can no longer be avoided. The airline wants to distribute the redundancies fairly, across all age groups.

The judge agrees. This also states that KLM needs more layoffs in the last-in-first-out principle to achieve the same cost savings. This could lead to a disproportionate loss of younger cabin workers. And a loss of young staff is bad for KLM’s future, according to the judge.

The union does not yet know whether VNC will appeal. The union ‘is considering possible further steps’.

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