Staff at Belgium’s air-traffic control company, Skeyes, have launched an online petition at petitions.net to prevent the contract of their CEO, Johan Decuyper, from being extended.
The call for signatures was launched on 7 June, the economic newspaper De Tijd reported on Wednesday on its website.
A few days before that date, the Skeyes CEO had announced that he was seeking a second term of office. During his first six-year term, which ends in October, the former Christen Democratisch en Vlaams (CD&V) cabinet chief has brought order within the autonomous public company, but social tensions in the past few months have earned him considerable criticism from some of the staff.
A few weeks ago, posters bearing the message “Decuyper out!” appeared in the Steenokkerzeel control tower and in March, an angry open letter was addressed to him.
“The social conflict is still blocked,” the air traffic controllers say in their petition. “If Johan Decuyper keeps behaving like a semi-dictator, the problems are going to continue.”
They add that there are also problems in other departments, such as Meteo, Technical Services and Administration. “Do Skeyes employees wish to continue like that for another six years?” they ask.
By Wednesday afternoon, 116 people had added their names and signatures to the petition. They do risk no sanctions for the moment since that could be considered a provocation, De Tijd reported.
Many officials of the Belgian Guild of Air Traffic Controllers are also reported to have signed the petition. The Guild, which represents most of the air traffic controllers, blames the current malaise at Skeyes on Decuyper.