Airline strikes: Unions criticise intimidation of staff, Brussels Airlines refute claims

Airline strikes: Unions criticise intimidation of staff, Brussels Airlines refute claims
Credit: Jonas Roosens / Belga

Trade unions at Brussels Airlines have threatened to file a complaint against the company following reports of intimidation of staff, asking them not to participate in the planned strike this week.

In the next three days (23 to 25 June), the airlines' cabin crew and pilots will be on strike, resulting in 60% of the scheduled flights not going ahead as scheduled.

According to the ACV and ABVV trade unions, staff members are being put under pressure by Brussels Airlines not to take part in the strike. The company's management reportedly changed the work schedules of several staff members to fly them out to distant destinations so they are stuck there for the next few days.

The trade unions said this is now being done in a threatening way, and in response will lodge a complaint with the social inspectorate following the supposed intimidation of the staff, Paul Buekenhout of the Christian trade union ACV confirmed to Het Laatste Nieuws.

The liberal trade union ACLVB has not yet announced it will be submitting a complaint.

'Respect right to work'

The airline company when speaking to The Brussels Times, claimed that there is no question of intimidation.

"No one is being intimidated by Brussels Airlines, nor will they be, these are our own colleagues whom we look forward to working with for many years to come," the company's spokesperson, Maaike Andries, said.

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"We will respect the strike for the next three days. On the other hand, there are also many colleagues who have indicated that they are willing to work, indeed, colleagues who are willing to take on extra shifts to help passengers. So we also ask everyone to respect the right to work."

The company expects to operate 40% of its flight schedule during the strike days.

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