Threats of new actions at Brussels Airlines “in the near future”

Only a few days after a three-day strike at Brussels Airlines has ended, unions representing the employees threaten with new actions. Reason? The management of the airline set a date for new negotiations on 22 August, at the end of the busy Summer period. Too late, unions wrote, and requested a strong response from Brussels Airlines to solve the “hanging items“.

Another maneuver to lift the heavy work schedules of the crew till after Summer, union member Olivier Van Camp said: “This is unacceptable for us, we demand swift solutions for the coming busy summer months.”

More details of the actions have not been announced yet, but a new trade union meeting has been arranged for next Wednesday. The unions also demanded Brussels Airlines to bring Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr to Belgium for a meeting.

Brussels Airlines pilots and cabin crew went on strike from Thursday to Saturday last week, the airline was forced to cancel 316 flights affecting around 40,000 passengers.

Unions said that they wrote an open letter to Brussels Airlines’ CEO Peter Gerber asking for a meeting in person. But this meeting can only be arranged on 22 August. “A CEO who doesn’t make time to listen to the grievances of his staff is not a good CEO,” the unions denounce. “After a year of negotiations and four days of strikes, the management of Brussels Airlines persists in anger and refuses to do anything about the workload and heavy rosters of its employees. And thus endangering the safety of its passengers.”

In a short response, Brussels Airlines says that it “regrets that the unions are again threatening with social actions in the media, before coming to the table.”

The management has previously acknowledged that the workload is high and that it is prepared to look for solutions to alleviate it. Among other things, it was decided to cancel 148 flights during the summer, a solution that unions found insufficient. Brussels Airlines persists that changing the previously approved collective labour agreement (signed during the COVID-19 pandemic) is out of the question.

Meanwhile, both sides remain in the trenches.

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