Strike at Swissport handling Brussels

May 15, 2013

Since Sunday 12th of May all workers of Swissport handling decided to go on strike. In September Swissport bought Flightcare. Immediately after the takeover, Swissport wanted to increase the flexibility of the workers.

Swissport didn’t accept that in the Belgian way of working and social dialogue you need to respect collective bargaining agreements and you only can change these agreements if other agreements are negotiated. That wasn’t the case, but in the mean time they introduced their “Swissport way of working” on the floor without consultation and negotiation. They thought they could present their propositions and after those presentations they could introduce the changes… Not with us! In Belgium we have a history of negociating things and not to be confronted with presentations of Zurich management that afterwords is obliged and introduced against collective labour agreements that are in place.

The major demands are that the workers want to return to the normal way of working. We want that the collective bargaining agreements are respected! We want enough people around the planes, to load and unload, to clean airplanes, to do the check-in and to do the work! All workers, blue and white collars, were and are tired of the situation!

As union we didn’t want to involve the passengers in this dispute. Unfortunally, Swissport management chose the way of the conflict and confrontation. We announced actions from half of April and didn’t go into action until last Sunday. This means that the management was informed that they needed to act and do something about the understaffing and to do something about the exceeded use of flexibility.

Until now, the Swissport management and the Swisport way of handling in social conflicts is the confrontation. This is not the way we normally work in Brussels. Swissport didn’t open normal and serious negotiations since Sunday. They were warned since half of April until Sunday, more than 28 days to search solutions, but Swissport chose the confrontation and to involve the passengers.

Is Brussels for Swissport to much to handle?

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