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Strike action planned at Charleroi Airport over school holidays

09:25 16/04/2024

A strike notice running until the end of April has been filed for Charleroi Airport, threatening to disrupt spring holidays for Francophone school pupils.

Unions are condemning a difficult climate for all airport workers, RTBF reports, but especially for those on the tarmac and in baggage handling.

“We have a major problem with the human resources department, on the runway but also in many other areas of the airport,” said Yves Lambot, permanent secretary of the CNE union.

“This situation is creating a real sense of frustration among the workers. We feel that we can no longer work under these conditions. Social dialogue only goes one way and there are never any concrete answers, at least from management.”

Lambot emphasised that efforts were made to engage in productive discussions with management prior to the filing of a strike notice.

“When we ask questions, management just brushes them aside and tells us that the information will be forthcoming,” said Lambot.

“But nothing comes. It really gives the impression that the workers are being snubbed.”

Calling out management in general, Lambot said that there were attitude issues and “those who are supposed to be in control at the airport don't notice everything that's not working. It’s like dealing with someone that doesn't want to respond.”

Staff cite difficult timetable changes made with no discussion: “The delegates are trying, constantly explaining to their head of department that it can't work. But management is turning a deaf ear.”

The notice period runs until 30 April, and if no agreement is reached by then, the union is announcing action.

“With the holidays coming up, that's another factor that will be on management's mind if they really want to think about it,” Lambot said.

“It's the holiday period and they know where they stand. We're open to discussion, but if there's no discussion, then we'll take further action.”

When contacted by the press, management confirmed that it had received the notice and said it was open to dialogue, adding that it was doing "everything possible" to avoid a strike having an impact on passengers.

Written by Helen Lyons