Brussels Airlines pilot strike in December also off the table

Brussels Airlines pilot strike in December also off the table
Credit: Brussels Airlines

Just a few weeks ago, two strike actions by Brussels Airlines staff were looming over the Christmas period. However, an agreement has been reached to reduce the pilots' workload, and they will now not strike this month after all.

Days after Brussels Airlines cabin crew announced an indefinite strike, the airline's pilots also threatened strike action from 11 December, targeting the Christmas holidays.

While Brussels Airlines is posting record results, nothing is going well on the social front. The problems addressed by unions mainly concerned work pressure and a lack of rest periods.

Conciliation negotiations between unions representing pilots and the company's management took place last week, but they failed to reach an agreement. However, further meetings were scheduled. On Tuesday afternoon, management finally agreed to reduce the pilots' workload.

This means the actions are now off the table, unions BBTK and ACV Puls confirmed to Belga News Agency. Unions labelled it a "good agreement" that "represents a huge improvement in terms of safety". The measures to make the workload more bearable are expected to take effect from January.

"This agreement improves the work-life balance of our pilots while ensuring the competitiveness of Brussels Airlines," the airline announced. "This also means that any actions by our pilots are no longer an issue."

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There will be an evaluation in April to see if the measures affect short-term sick leave, which has been high among pilots recently. If this is not the case, there will be additional measures.

Stewards and hostesses for Brussels Airlines were also called to strike on 1, 2 and 3 December but on Saturday last week, these actions were scrapped after unions and management agreed on a labour deal over the weekend. According to worker representatives, the company presented a serious proposal on which staff will be consulted over the coming month.

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