Security staff employed by the airport itself are afraid that their section will be outsourced and fall into private hands. This may trigger job losses and impact on working conditions and wages, they fear.
Only staff employed by Brussels Airport are taking part. They are about 90 people, working in 3 different shifts. At the same time, only 2 of the 3 major trades unions have joined the action. Other security tasks are in the hands of other private companies and the federal police, which cover some 90 per cent of the work. This is why the impact is relatively moderate.
The protest action started around 7:30am. Staff checked boarding tickets and passports a second time behind the new automatic check-in gates. This caused moderate disruption to some passengers, who had to wait a couple of minutes longer.
"Come 2 to 3 hours in advance"
Brussels Airport spokeswoman Anke Fransen is calling on travellers to come early anyway, as delays are still possible, and no risks should be taken. Brussels Airport advises holiday makers to come at least 2 hours in advance for European flights and 3 hours for flights outside Europe.
New talks between trades unions and Brussels Airport should take place in the coming weeks. If no agreement can be reached, airport security staff are threatening to join efforts with fire services and the customs department. Future protest actions could have a bigger impact in that case.