No end in sight to the dispute at air traffic control company Skeyes

Efforts by arbitrators have failed to find a resolution to the dispute at the Belgian air traffic control company Skeyes. In a press statement Skeyes blames the Christian trades union ACV Transcom for the breakdown of the talks. However, the Christian trades union’s Kurt Callaerts says that his organision had simply asked for time to consult with its members about the proposals that were on the table.  

Skeyes Dominique Dehaene told VRT News that “If it is only about time, we look forward to ACV’s (the Christian trade union) reaction and hope that they can accept the proposals”.

For more than two months now air traffic in the skies above Belgium has been subject to disruption due to the dispute at Skeyes. On Friday night too, aircraft were unable to take of or land for several hours.

The air traffic controllers are unhappy about staff shortages and high levels of pressure of work. On Friday evening talks to resolve the dispute broke down. Afterwards Skeyes management and the Christian trade union blamed each other for the breakdown of the talks.  

In a press statement released on Friday evening Skeyes wrote “The position taken by ACV meant that further arbitration was pointless”.

The stumbling block was the union’s request for more time to enable it to consult with its rank and file. ACV asked for a week to enable it to do so. The union says that on Friday evening it was asked to sign up to the proposals straight away.

 “We regret that we weren’t given the chance to seek wider support for these commitments. If we had been given more time we maybe could have done so. With this in mind we feel that it is unfortunate that after a lot of effort and rapprochement the talks have ran aground”, Mr Callaerts said. 

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