Expatica news

Brussels Airport continues to be plagued by strikes

12 August 2008

BELGIUM – Scores of arriving and departing flights are being cancelled or delayed on Tuesday at Brussels International Airport in Zaventem as baggage handlers remain on strike for the second day.

A first proposal by the management of Aviapartner to improve the working conditions of the baggage handlers was rejected while talks with the representatives of Flightcare also collapsed on Monday night.

On Tuesday 1:00 pm, the personnel of baggage handlers Aviapartner will hold a referendum on a proposal made by the management to end the strike.

Contrary to management expectations, the trade unions have also rejected a second proposal. However, the unions have agreed to put the proposal to the personnel in a referendum this afternoon.

The management promises to hire 27 extra people – a 10 percent increment in personnel. This includes the 12 reserve team people that were promised earlier.

The trade unions say that this is still insufficient.

At Flightcare, the negotiations collapsed last night. The trade unions say the management stormed out of talks in the middle of the night because the unions refused to sign their proposal. It is not yet clear when talks at Flightcare will continue.

Brussels Airport hopes for quick end to strike
On its website, Brussels Airport said it hoped for a "quick end" to the strike. The site is having problems processing the huge numbers of people consulting it. Many users can now only access a couple of the web pages.

For a second day, Brussels International Airport at Zaventem is the scene of thousands of stranded travellers, heaps of luggage and signs listing scores of delayed, diverted or cancelled flights.

Some airlines have been taking passengers by bus to nearby airports, cancelled flights or are leaving with passengers taking only carry-on luggage.

Airport officials say that it could take days after the strike ends before the backlog of luggage can be processed.

For further information call the following emergency number in Brussels : 02/753 73 00.

For the phone numbers of airlines & tour operators, click here to check the list.

[flandersnews.be / Expatica]

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