Chaos at threat in looming Zaventem strike

14th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 July 2005, BRUSSELS — Trade union ACV will wage industrial action paralysing operations at Zaventem Airport in a dispute over the sacking of a staff member at Flight Care.

14 July 2005

BRUSSELS — Trade union ACV will wage industrial action paralysing operations at Zaventem Airport in a dispute over the sacking of a staff member at Flight Care.

The union is demanding the immediate reinstatement of the employee and threatened to go out on strike if the demand was not met.

However, unions entered into discussions with Flight Care management at 8am on Thursday to resolve the dispute, newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad' reported.

Talks were later temporarily halted and started again at 3pm, but ended without an agreement.

"If the management does not reverse the dismissal, strikes will occur today [Thursday] at Zaventem," ACV Transcom official Joris Welters had earlier said.

Flight Care employee and ACV unionist Maria Vindevoghel was told by telephone on Wednesday about her dismissal from the baggage handling company.

Vindevoghel — who first attracted headlines due to her union battle following the bankruptcy of Belgian airline Sabena — was sacked on grounds of failing to respect airport safety measures.
 
As a member of the ACV's Prevention and Protection Committee, Vindevoghel was told during the recent heatwave to examine work conditions at BIAC, which operates Zaventem Airport.
 
She was not officially on duty at that time and claims she later received an email informing her about the ban on using her BIAC badge outside of work hours. "Last night at 6.30pm, I was sacked over the telephone," Vindevoghel said.

A Flight Care spokeswoman told Expatica safety measures stipulate that staff may not work outside of their normal work hours.

However, ACV was outraged by the dismissal and said union representatives must not be hindered from performing their work. Nor should they be sacked over the telephone, it said.

The union demanded that management back down and will only decide against waging industrial action if the sacking is reversed.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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