Dispute at baggage handler Aviapartner at Zaventem over

The workforce at baggage handler Aviapartner has approved the draft agreement concluded between the managent and the unions last night.  The agreement ends six days of strike action at Brussels Airport.  The management's promised extra staff and an improvement in contracts.


There's been a return to work at the baggage handler.  The agreement was now put to staff, who approved it this morning.  Even today a number of flights had to be cancelled but the situation eased during the course of the day.  Brussels Airport expects a normal flight schedule tomorrow.  

The handler’s European management flew in to take part in talks with the unions yesterday and this seems to have triggered a breakthrough.   Trades unionist Lieveke Norga: "It took a lot of energy.  It was only when the European management got here that we could talk about content, but by 4:30AM there was an agreement we could put to the workforce."

The unions took time to explain the accord to employees this morning. The vote scheduled for 11AM backed the deal.

Hundreds of flights at Brussels Airport were cancelled during the past few days.  Strikers sought an improvement in working conditions.  The size of the Aviapartner workforce is at an historic low.  Fifty open vacancies will now be filled.  The management has given a commitment to give temporary staff and employees on a fixed term contract an unlimited contract: 47 staff will see an improvement in their contract.

Aviapartner's HR division will be reorganised to improve staff policy.  5 staff will be able to unload busy aircraft instead of 4 at the minute.  Aviapartner intends to invest in improved equipment after staff complaints about antiquated and dangerous equipment.  3.2 million euros extra will be invested by the end of next year.

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