19 November 2004
BRUSSELS – A group of pilots with Brussels Airlines (SNBA) called a wildcat strike on Friday in a dispute over holidays.
“The new system is worse for your social life,” said Anita Van Hoof from the Socialist union (FGTB).
SNBA said only a minority of its pilots had taken strike action and urged passengers to still come to the airport.
The strike was short, lasting only from 5.30 to 11.00am and the airline company said it was difficult to assess its impact.
However, the ACV union said the strike had been well-followed and that a number of flights had to be cancelled.
SNBA set up a telephone helpline for passengers concerned about their flights, on 070 35 11 11.
According to the unions, the wildcat action was a “warning signal” to management ahead of a meeting next Wednesday.
“We are not supportive of the management’s moves towards changing the rules on pilots holidays,” said Nathalie Hiel from the Flemish Christian union.
According to Hiel, the management was trying to change the current block system, which would mean that some pilots would not know advance when they had holidays.
Pilots are also protesting that they need more staff to cope during busy periods. “Work timetables are not always optimal,” said Hiel.
She could not confirm whether any further strike action would occur before Wednesday.
On Thursday SNBA announced that it had made a profit for the third quarter running this year.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news