Government steps in to defuse air traffic control dispute

The Belgian government has intervened in the dispute between Belgian air traffic controllers and the Belgian air traffic control agency Skeyes.  Labour minister Kris Peeters has appointed not one, but two social mediators to unblock the conflict.

As a result of the appointment all protest actions and strikes by air traffic controllers are suspended at least until Monday.  The unions are keen to give the mediators a chance in their dispute about work pressure, employment numbers and air safety. Earlier attempts to reach agreement were not successful.  The socialist union struck a deal but this was rejected by other unions.

For a fortnight now air traffic has been disrupted triggering delays.  So far, the dispute is believed to have cost airlines 4 million euros and they are losing their patience.