Dutch airline KLM reaches settlement with pilots over pensions

first_imgKLM announced in August that it planned to cancel its contract with the €8bn Vliegend Personeel KLM pension fund over concerns that its obligation to guarantee full indexation for the pilots’ pension would require the airline to pay €600m by year-end.This figure was based on new national regulation concerning the coverage ratio that is required before pension funds can compensate fully for inflation.The sum of €600m was contested by the trade union from the outset.In a court hearing in September, the union argued that, employing a different interpretation of the regulation, only €115m would be require.KLM and the union, with help of the fund’s experts, have now agreed on a common method for interpreting the regulation and calculating the cost.In a newsletter to pilots, KLM estimated the cost for this year at €94m.KLM and the union have subsequently agreed to drop the ongoing court cases between them.The pension fund is also expected to drop its own lawsuit against KLM.With the agreement, KLM avoids a possible strike by its pilots.The VNV had warned in November that it might take such action if the company failed to change course on the pensions issue.From 2017 onwards, KLM and the union will discuss de-risking pension arrangements, with the union acknowledging that it understood the company’s desire to do so.KLM said it was aiming for a collective defined contribution arrangement. Dutch airline KLM and its pilots have settled a long-running dispute over pension arrangements.The airline agreed not to cancel a previous agreement on the guaranteed indexation of pilots’ pensions, as it had announced this summer.The decision came after new figures suggested the cost of the arrangement would be far less than KLM initially estimated.The arrangement will remain place for 2016, but, next year, KLM and the VNV, the trade union for pilots, will begin negotiations on the future de-risking of the pension arrangements.last_img read more

Flood Recovery: $1.2 Billion for Louisiana

first_imgLouisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and U.S. Representaive Garret Graves have announced that the federal government will allocate an additional $1.213 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for hazard mitigation projects in parishes that were impacted by the 2016 floods. Commenting this, Governor Edwards said: “This new investment from HUD is critically important to our rebuilding efforts. It will allow us to make investments in flood risk reduction and infrastructure projects in areas of our state that were devastated by the 2016 floods, including partnering with the Army Corps of Engineers to make investments in  large-scale projects such as the Comite River Diversion Canal.”“Once we have the full details from the federal government regarding how these funds can be spent, we will work with stakeholders and local governments to determine what projects to fund and outline our plan to HUD. I appreciate the congressional delegation’s continued efforts on our flood recovery, and I am confident these resources will be used to strengthen our communities against future disasters.”Representaive Graves added that “this is one of the largest flood protection, mitigation and resiliency disaster appropriations made to the state of Louisiana in history and brings the sum of federal recovery dollars for Louisiana’s 2016 floods to more than 10 billion, enabling us to advance critical projects that have been stagnant for far too long – projects like Comite, West Shore, Upper Barataria Risk Reduction and Morganza to the Gulf.”“These resources will be used as part of an overall solution for Comite – a solution that will include Army Corps of Engineers funding – but will also give Louisiana flexibility to directly take the lead on implementing and completing projects instead of being held hostage by the bureaucracy of the Corps.”This tranche of federal dollars was appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which became law on February 9, 2018last_img read more

Pay or else? WADA to consider sanctions if US holds funding

first_img First Published: 5th September, 2020 07:30 IST Associated Press Television News The World Anti-Doping Agency will consider rules changes that would allow it to sanction the United States if it stops paying its annual dues to the drug-fighting organization.WADA said in a news release Friday that “several representatives” of governments around the world had approached the agency with the idea.“This matter has been raised by some concerned Governments, not by WADA’s leadership, and as is the case with any proposal raised by a stakeholder, WADA has an obligation to consider it carefully,” president Witold Banka said.This episode stems from a U.S. government study in June that concluded the U.S. is underrepresented on WADA’s key policy-making committees, and that Congress should consider giving the American government’s drug-fighting office discretion to withhold future funding. Underlying the problems, the study said, was that WADA has not moved urgently enough to reform itself in the wake of the long-running Russian doping scandal.WADA’s executive committee meets Sept. 14-15. The Associated Press asked director general Olivier Niggli to identify the governments that came to WADA with the concerns. He said he could not divulge the governments “and frankly it does not matter. The point is that it is a legitimate concern that needs to be discussed.”U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said “the hypocrisy here is unbelievable.”“There is something seriously wrong when WADA attacks one of its key partners that is doing everything to uphold the rules — yet they turn a blind eye to a country like Russia that runs a state-sponsored doping program,” Tygart said.WADA’s annual budget of $37.4 million is funded half by governments across the world and half by the International Olympic Committee. The U.S. gave $2.7 million to WADA this year, which was more than double the amount of all but two of the nearly 200 countries that are WADA signatories.The funding threat has been hanging over other issues that reached a boiling point over the past week, most notably Russia’s decision to fire the head of its anti-doping agency, which was revamped in the wake of a doping scandal that has lingered over international sports for more than six years. WADA said it was “extremely concerned” about the decision, while other countries singled out the firing as another example of a sanctioning process that did not fundamentally change the country’s outlook on anti-doping issues.Also this week, a group of 18 nations’ anti-doping agencies met and reiterated their concerns about a number of WADA issues, including what they say are needed reforms that would give WADA greater autonomy from the international sports movement. Critics believe that WADA lacks true independence because the IOC bankrolls half of its budget and also places its members on key WADA governing committees.With the anti-doping agencies drafting their own statement Thursday, Banka sent an open letter to athletes that spelled out and largely defended the agency’s moves over the past several years. In a turn of phrase used frequently by leaders at the Montreal-based agency, Banka said “I will not allow WADA to get bogged down in these political games.” He also said “control of WADA is not for sale, no matter what stakeholder we are dealing with” — an apparent reference to the U.S. government study.A day later, he was talking about consideration of a rules change that could ultimately jeopardize the United States’ role in the anti-doping movement.“I still stand ready to work with the U.S. Government on this and I am hopeful that it will continue to contribute to the global anti-doping program,” Banka said. “But what our stakeholders are telling us is that this episode has highlighted the need for more commitment and accountability within the clean sport community.”Image credits: AP Written By Last Updated: 5th September, 2020 07:30 IST Pay Or Else? WADA To Consider Sanctions If US Holds Funding The World Anti-Doping Agency will consider rules changes that would allow it to sanction the United States if it stops paying its annual dues to the drug-fighting organization COMMENTcenter_img LIVE TV WATCH US LIVE SUBSCRIBE TO US FOLLOW USlast_img read more