Compulsory measures to restore the operations at Brussels Airport

May 16, 2013

The State Secretary for Mobility and Brussels Airport have decided in mutual consultation to take a number of compulsory measures to restore operations at Brussels Airport.

On Wednesday evening the trade unions and the Executive Board of Swissport agreed a protocol agreement, signed by the social mediator. In spite of this agreement, some members of staff are refusing to resume work. The agreement contains both concrete measures that start immediately, and a commmitment on the part of the Swissport Executive Board to continue the necessary discussions in the coming weeks. It is thus unacceptable that members of staff are disregarding this agreement and refusing to resume work.

Brussels Airport and the State Secretary for Mobility gave the necessary time and space in the first instance to the consultations and deeply regret that the agreement achieved is not being complied with by all staff members.

Not only has this extremely long strike caused a huge amount of nuisance for thousands of travellers since Sunday evening, but Brussels Airport and its partners are also suffering from an incalculable loss of image and through this all companies at the airport and in Belgium in general are suffering immense economic harm.

The State Secretary for Mobility and Brussels Airport have decided to take compulsory measures as from 2 pm today, namely:
- The seizure of Swissport material in accordance with the provisions in their licence
- Access to the tarmac and other secured zones to be refused to Swissport personnel that refuse to resume work and therefore have no reason to enter these areas.
- The enforcement of a penalty if the access to the airport infrastructure is blocked and/or the airport operations are impeded.

With a view to the future, the State Secretary for Mobility, Melchior Wathelet, is taking the initiative for consultation with Brussels Airport, handlers and trade unions with the aim of creating a common statute for the personnel of handlers. "This must improve job security for the benefit of the employees, the employers, the airports and the travellers," according to Melchior Wathelet.

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