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KLM scraps 28 return flights after ground crew strike

KLM scraps 28 return flights after ground crew strike

Air France and KLM merged in 2004 but continue to operate largely separately. (AFP/Fabio LIMA)

THE HAGUE: Dutch national carrier KLM said it scrapped 28 round-trip flights Monday (Sep 2) across Europe after ground staff downed tools in a two-hour strike for higher wages.

Airline spokeswoman Manel Vrijenhoek said the move came after a section of ground crew belonging to the largest Dutch union federation FNV stopped work from 8am to 10am.

"We announced yesterday that 11 return flights will be preventively cancelled with a decision to scrap another 17 today," Vrijenhoek told AFP.

"Our operations in the meantime have started up again with a delay of about half-an-hour," she said.

The FNV said Saturday it was demanding a 4 per cent increase for some 15,000 ground staff, with KLM's latest offer stalling at 2 per cent over the next three years, with three percent offered in the first year.

"It's no good. Therefore we are calling a work stoppage," FNV campaign leader Joost van Doesburg said.

"If KLM retains its position after the strike, new labour actions cannot be excluded," he said in a statement.

A strike by public transport workers in May forced dozens of flights to be cancelled at Schiphol, one of Europe's busiest hubs.

More than 41 million passengers passed through Schiphol in the first six months of the year, according to the latest figures.

Source: AFP/de


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