Brussels Airlines to meet union in an attempt to avoid pilot strike

Brussels Airlines to meet union in an attempt to avoid pilot strike
Credit: Belga.

The management of Brussels Airlines is seeking to meet with the pilots' union after the latter issued a strike notice last week. This meeting is supposed to take place on Friday.

Pilots are considering a strike in response to the high levels of work pressure, as well as to demand that management index their so-called "cafeteria plan," which is a budget for extra-legal benefits.

Meanwhile, management claimed in an internal letter obtained by Belga News Agency that the pilots' demands might hinder the airline's future expansion.

While reaffirming in their letter that they recognised the excessive workload that staff were experiencing, they indicated that the company struggling to keep up with the airline industry's rapid recovery. "We have lost money in every month this year so far, so we must capitalise on the summer months to turn a profit," CEO Peter Gerber and others stated in the memo.

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Furthermore, management claimed that indexing the cafeteria plan, which was obtained by three trade unions following negotiations with the Brussels Airlines in 2020, was off the table.

The company claimed that breaking this collective agreement "would jeopardise the cornerstone of our deal with the Belgian government and our future," adding that "we'd have to reverse investments, reevaluate the business strategy, and examine any future growth."

This is why the firm is banking on this consultation meeting to produce outcomes that "respect both the well-being of colleagues and our commercial objectives, therefore ensuring the future of Brussels Airlines and all its employees."

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