Unions threaten blockade to save Zaventem

4th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 July 2005, BRUSSELS — Unions are threatening to take industrial action if the federal government does not come up with a solution before September to the noise pollution problems at Zaventem Airport.

4 July 2005

BRUSSELS — Unions are threatening to take industrial action if the federal government does not come up with a solution before September to the noise pollution problems at Zaventem Airport.

Concerns for the airport's operational future continue to mount as residents take legal action against Zaventem and its noise pollution problems.

Both unions and Federal Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt are concerned that as many as 50,000 jobs are at threat in and around Zaventem.

The secretary of union ACV, Lode Verschingel, is threatening tough industrial action such as a blockade or a sit-in if the government doesn't find a solution to the crisis.

Landuyt has previously said employees needed to fight for the airport — via legal action if necessary, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported on Monday.

Several residents are currently demanding their right to peace and quiet in court. The employees can demand in court their right to work," the Socialist (SP.A) minister said.

The problems centre on the strict noise pollution legislation imposed by the Brussels regional government. The legislation is stricter than the noise pollution regulations in Flanders.

The environment in Belgium is now under the authority of the three regional governments - Brussels, Flanders and Walloon.

All three governments have different regulations in nearly every aspect of the environment.

Flemish Christian Democrat (CD&V) Prime Minister Yves Leterme offered a solution on the weekend. If necessary, Leterme said he would accept uniform regulations laid down by the federal government if Brussels does not change its policy.

"We cannot simply let 50,000 jobs around Zaventem be lost," he said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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