Zoo catering strike resolved

The catering personnel of Antwerp Zoo started a wildcat strike on Monday morning complaining of the increased work pressure. The strike could have spread to other departments and the Zoo might have had to close. But this was averted when the management agreed to hire more catering personnel.
According to the catering personnel at Antwerp Zoo there is too much work pressure. "On some days there is so little personnel that the people working don't even have time to go to the toilet," says Yvan De Jonge from the ABVV. "The management doesn't take the problem seriously and so we've decided to go on strike."
The strike came at a particularly bad time for the management. June 1 is Pentecost which is a holiday in Belgium- so this is a long weekend. Further, the birth of the baby elephant Kai-Mook (photo) a couple of weeks ago has attracted masses of visitors to the zoo. This weekend, and particularly today, the zoo was expecting thousands of visitors.

The trade unions held talks with the management this afternoon. The managment will hire extra people for the restaurants and snackbars at the zoo.
Some 30 people work on a permanent basis in the restaurants and snack bars of the zoo. There are also people who work on temporary contracts. According to the unions at least 6-7 people extra are needed to pick up the slack of the extra visitors to the zoo.