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‘Jobs at risk’ over DHL delays

Published on 14/09/2004

14 September 2004

BRUSSELS – Thousands of jobs may be at risk due to bureaucratic hold-ups over the expansion in Belgium of global courier firm DHL, it was reported on Tuesday.

Flemish daily Het Nieuwsblad cited “high placed” sources at DHL as saying the firm was no longer prepared to wait for Belgium to give the green light to its growth plans.

Later in the day DHL issued a statement saying it had not taken a final decision about whether or not to quit Belgium and that it was still considering its options.

“We will make our intentions clear before the end of November,” the statement added.

DHL would like to expand its operations at Zaventem airport but its plans have been delayed by bureaucratic procedures that require all of the country’s different regions to allow it to increase the number of night flights it operates out of the airport.

Many local residents are opposed to DHL’s plan as they say it would increase aircraft noise to unacceptable levels.

According to Het Niewsblad, the company is now seriously considering moving its European sorting centre elsewhere and just keeping its headquarters and courier service at Zaventem.

Such a move would put thousands of jobs at risk, said the newspaper.

Studies have shown that if DHL got the go ahead to expand its operations at Zaventem, it could generate up to 16,000 jobs in Belgium.

The courier already employs 3,000 people in the country.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news