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Long queues at Brussels Airport due to industrial action: "Please come early'"

Holiday makers taking the plane to travel abroad had to be patient at the start of the autumn school holidays as federal police are staging a work-to-rule strike. There were longer than usual queues at both Brussels Airport and at the regional airport in Charleroi, also called Brussels-South. 

Federal police are staging a work-to-rule strike after negotiations about better pay reached a deadlock in recent days. They also fear that new federal plans to cut the budget could have a big impact. "We haven't had a pay rise in 20 years", trades unions say. 

Apart from both airports, actions were also staged at the Brussels South Station where international trains to Paris and London are departing. Trades union members can be seen carrying flags in the departure halls and at the airport entrance. 

Waiting times were 1 to 1.5 hours up

The action at Brussels Airport started around 5.30 this morning. Police scrutinised passports of passengers travelling outside the Schengen area, which triggered waiting times of 1 to 1.5 hours. 

Today is the busiest day at Brussels Airport in a long time, after a long Covid spell and with the autumn holidays starting tomorrow. Nathalie Pierard of Brussels said that some departures were delayed to give everyone the chance to catch the plane. This morning, the action focused on flights outside Schengen, but this may change during the course of the day. Pierard called on travellers "to come early" to avoid problems. 

More industrial action could be taken in the next days. 

Watch the video below to get a taste of the atmosphere:

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