The management of low-cost airline Ryanair has revealed the company intends to transfer one of its four planes from Brussels Airport to another airport. At the same time, 28 personnel will also be transferred.
Ryanair took the unusual step of bringing senior management to Zaventem this morning to lay out its plans first to unions representatives and later for employees here themselves. Unions had previously forecast that such a move did not herald good news.
In the event, the company confirmed that it will, as revealed earlier, transfer one of its four aircraft out of Zaventem. Unions also revealed that the plan includes transferring 28 employees from Zaventem – to Charleroi as a preferred option, although other airports have been mentioned. Volunteer candidates for the move will be sought, but if there are not enough, others will be designated. No compensation for the move will be offered.
Ryanair employs just over 100 people at Zaventem. According to unions, the transfers will hit the different departments as follows: 18 cabin crew, five pilots and five co-pilots. Ryanair is waiting to take delivery of a new consignment of Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which are currently grounded. When that problem is resolved, the company said, one will be brought to Zaventem.
No Belgian employees will be affected. The reason, according to Didier Lebbe, permanent secretary of the CNE union, is that “the management are ready to do anything to avoid the Renault procedure by proposing a transfer system.” The Renault procedure, so called after the car factory that closed down in Brussels with mass redundancies in 1997, lays down a mandatory consultation procedure in the event of large-scale job cuts.
“A sort of Monopoly game without realising we’re dealing with human beings,” he went on. The union intends to question the legality of the transfer option, as well as the company’s refusal to compensate staff who may be forced to change their place of work, perhaps even to a neighbouring country. No actions have been announced for the time being.