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Strike action called off at Charleroi airport, but no flights due to take off on Wednesday morning
Trade unions confirmed that they have called off the planned strike action at Charleroi airport, although no aircraft will take off on Wednesday morning, reports RTBF.
It followed a mediation meeting on Tuesday evening that discussed possible solutions to the dispute between airport management and unions representing security staff that has been disrupting air traffic since Monday morning.
While a memorandum of agreement was agreed, it’s not yet known when the airport will fully resume operations. As a precautionary measure, the airport will remain closed in the direction of departures on Wednesday morning.
The mediation session was organised by the Walloon minister in charge of airports, Adrien Dolimont (MR), and attended by the FGTB, CSC and CGSLB trade unions.
According to Aïcha Sayah of CSC, passenger screening between two service providers will ultimately not be divided. "After two days of strike, we have finally managed to open the discussion and find a memorandum of understanding that agrees with all the parties."
At the origin of the dispute was BSCA Security’s decision to split passenger screening between two service providers. It recently launched a public offer to extend the service to a second operator.
Personnel working for the current operator, Security Master, opposed splitting the service between two companies. They viewed it as potential competition that could affect their working conditions and pay and create differences between the staff of each service provider.
The management of BSCA Security justified its decision by saying it wanted to provide a continuity in the service that was currently difficult to achieve with a single operator.
Disruption began at Brussels South Charleroi Airport early on Monday morning when the staff strike blocked access to passenger terminals.
Sayah regretted that the agreement came so late in the negotiation process that passengers and workers had been strongly impacted. "We hope in the future that this dramatic situation does not happen again."
Photo: © Belga/Virginie Dufour
This story was updated on 19 October at 7.00