DHL workers take strike action
20 October 2004, BRUSSELS - Workers at global courrier firm DHL staged a short strike on Tuesday night and may down tools again later this week.
20 October 2004
BRUSSELS - Workers at global courrier firm DHL staged a short strike on Tuesday night and may down tools again later this week.
DHL workers staged the strike in protest at the political wrangling over the firm's proposed expansion that has put their jobs on the line.
The Belgian federal and regional governments are still at loggerheads over whether to allow DHL to make Belgium its European hub, which would mean a big rise in night flights to and from Zaventem airport.
DHL has already threatened to relocate, prompting fears of swingeing job cuts in its Belgian operations.
Workers unions are in the throes of discussion about how to proceed with industrial action.
The firm's management has asked them to hold fire until the end of the week while it evaluates a letter sent by the government on Tuesday.
The federal, Brussels and Flanders authorities claim DHL has not yet met their demands on night flights.
These include assurances on noise levels and limits on the number of flights.
DHL's global governing body will consider the letter before informing its Belgian management about its decision.
This will then be conveyed to the unions before the government, and may prompt spontaneous industrial action.
Failure to reach a deal with the Belgian authorities may push DHL to relocate to either France or Germany.
The firm has already spoken to Leipzig airport in Germany about a possible reloction and press reports on Wednesday said Vatry airport in France has also been contacted.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news