“In a lawsuit filed against KLM, the Amsterdam Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the Dutch Airline Pilots Association (VNV). KLM can no longer ask new pilots about their COVID-19 vaccination status or reject their application for employment with the airlines based on vaccination status. If not immediately in compliance, the airline risks a fine of EUR 100,000 per violation,” UncoverDC reports.
The Association of Dutch Airline Pilots (VNV) successfully blocks mandatory vaccinations for new pilots
— Untrivial Pursuit (@UntrvialPursuit) June 2, 2022
Hoooray!!! Hopefully the beginning of a trend 😁 https://t.co/ngptQErhlA
— “Unacceptable” Kathy Friesen 🐰 (@KathyFriesen1) June 2, 2022
Judge Pennick noted that KLM immediately questions whether pilot candidates have received the COVID-19 shot and instantly terminates the application if the candidate has chosen not too and doesn’t intend too.
Pennick explained the pre-employment data collection procedure may pressure potential pilots to receive the injection or face unemployment, which he added is unacceptable in the employee-candidate aspect within KLM.
Pennick wrote, “It is considered that requesting and demanding a vaccination against corona constitutes an unjustified infringement of the fundamental rights of the candidate pilots; in particular, it infringes the privacy of Article 8 ECHR.” Emphasizing that the decision to get jabbed is preeminently private, the judge continued, adding:
“By requesting vaccination against corona, KLM is infringing the privacy (Article 8 ECHR) of the candidate pilots. After all, the decision whether or not to have yourself vaccinated is something that belongs preeminently to this private sphere. Requiring the candidate pilot to be vaccinated and to give a positive answer to that question about vaccination status, therefore, violates this. KLM thus leaves no choice to candidate pilots who want to join KLM.
Pleased with the decision, which goes into effect immediately, VNV released a statement endorsing the government’s position that vaccination is important. Nonetheless, they reiterated that compulsory vaccination by KLM is not permitted. Moreover, there is no functional need behind KLM’s decision to follow such a procedure in violation of VNV’s agreements on the subject.
The VNV press release reads:
Today, the judge ruled in preliminary relief proceedings that the infringement of the fundamental rights of candidates committed by KLM’s conduct in the application procedure is disproportionate, because KLM has not been able to demonstrate that there is an operational necessity. The judge says about this: “The importance of KLM to finalize its planning with due observance of the collective labor agreement and to organize its business operations as well as possible is also present, but does not weigh as heavily as the rights of the candidate pilots. . This is all the more true now that VNV has argued that there are alternatives that the candidate pilots and many of the pilots already working at KLM want to participate in, such as conducting (per) tests, which can also achieve the goal of effective planning. become.”
Under penalty of a penalty of EUR 100,000 per violation, the court has immediately prohibited KLM from collecting and/or using information in any way about the vaccination status against COVID-19 and/or rejecting candidates because they indicate that they are not have been vaccinated and/or do not want to have a vaccination. If KLM can demonstrate that operational problems will arise in the future due to travel restrictions for its personnel, the VNV is always prepared to look for solutions that do not disproportionately infringe on its (candidate) pilots.
Peter Westerneng, VNV President, added:
In several countries, judges have already put a stop to a (Corona) vaccination obligation. Not so long ago, several hospitals in the Netherlands spoke out against such a duty and indicated that they would not apply it. KLM thought otherwise and introduced a vaccination obligation for new pilots, after which the Dutch Air Traffic Pilots Association (Association of Dutch Airline Pilots) went to court.
After summary proceedings on May 19, the judge today rendered a decision and canceled the vaccination obligation for new pilots that KLM had introduced, contrary to agreements with the VNV. KLM is prohibited from inquiring about the vaccination status of new pilots and taking this into account in the application process, on pain of hefty fines.
Read the court ruling HERE.