More than 1 in 4 flights cancelled as baggage handlers dispute continues

There is still no end in sight to the strike by baggage handlers that work Aviapartner at Zaventem Airport, near Brussels. Management at Aviapartners had hoped that the baggage handlers would return to work from 6am this morning. However, negotiation with the unions that represent the baggage handlers ended without agreement on Saturday evening. 

As result of the strike more than one in four flights (150 out of 550) have been cancelled.  

A resolution to the industrial dispute at Aviapartner looks as far away as ever. Management’s proposals to offer 30 of the 78 temps it employs at Zaventem a permanent employment contract and give the baggage handlers at 250 euro bonus if the strike were to end immediately have been rejected.

The unions say that the proposals don’t go far enough. Fouad Bougrine of the liberal trade union ACLVB told VRT News that

"The idea of negotiations is that you meet eachother half way. However, management has never given the impression of wishing to do so”.   

Talks to resume on Sunday afternoon

Talks on finding a resolution for the dispute will resume on Sunday afternoon. Unlike Saturday’s talks, Sunday’s talks won’t be held at Brussels Airport in Zaventem (Flemish Brabant), but at the offices of the Federal Employment and Labour Department in Brussels.  

Anyone due to fly from Zaventem is advised to check whether their flight has been cancelled before leaving home. They can do so on the Brussel Airport Website.