Wildcat strike at Brussels airport

3rd October 2008, Comments 0 comments

Flightcare personnel go on strike over unpaid overtime, leaving most flights delayed at Brussels International Airport Friday.

3 October 3, 2008

BRUSSELS -- At Brussels International Airport, Zaventem, the negotiations between the management and the trade unions of baggage handler Flightcare have collapsed. The result is a wildcat strike by Flightcare personnel.

Flightcare is the company that loads and unloads the baggage at Brussels International. A number of employees started striking last night because the management decided unilaterally to convert overtime into vacation days instead of extra pay.

Consequence for the passengers

At the moment the flights have not been cancelled but there are delays on almost all the flights. The pilots and executive staff are doing the work of the baggage handlers on strike.

Unilateral decision

The employees of Flightcare are angry that the management decided unilaterally to convert overtime into vacation days instead of giving the employees the option of extra pay.

"This summer the baggage handlers worked a lot of overtime," explains Thierry Vuchelen of the liberal trade union. "We just discovered that all this overtime was simply converted into extra vacation days."

The socialist trade union is also angry with the unilateral decision by the management. Hendrik Vermeersch points out, "I don't think that anyone would accept an employer that refused to pay overtime."

Respect the social dialogue

The management of Flightcare regrets the decision to move to a wildcat strike. The management says that the personnel never brought their grievances to their attention during the negotiations of the collective labour agreement.

The Flightcare management is calling on the strikers to respect the social dialogue and participate in constructive negotiations.

In the meantime, the management and unions are at the negotiating table.

[flandersnews.be / Expatica]

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