Going Dutch Consensus-based style in Netherlands is a plus

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In late August, it looked as if new chief executive Benjamin Smith would be facing resistance from the Dutch half of the Air France-KLM group too: the VNV pilots' union had started to ballot its members on industrial action against KLM to coincide with his arrival.
 The dispute was over whether a 4 per cent reduction in working hours started in mid-2019 or earlier. After mediation, the sides agreed October 2018 and the union wound down preparations for its strike.
 KLM ought to be much less troublesome for Mr Smith than Air France, especially given what the VNV's Joost van Doesburg calls its consensus-based style of negotiation, known as the polder model in Dutch.
 Mr van Doesburg expressed a hope that Mr Smith would set up a “good social dialogue” between management and staff in both Air France and KLM: “We do not believe that you can blame only the unions for the unrest within the company. It takes two to tango.”  


Josh Spero in London

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