Brussels Airlines pilots announce new strike dates after negotiations break down

Negotiations over the wages of Brussels Airlines pilots broke down on Wednesday evening. In response, the socialist union BBTK announced a four-day strike from 27 to 30 March, the beginning of the Easter holidays in Belgium.

On Tuesday, negotiators seemed to be on the way to an agreement. The unions decided to postpone a previously announced strike, which was due to start on Saturday, in the hope of reaching an agreement on Wednesday.

But negotiations eventually broke down. "We gave the talks every chance, but it didn't work out," said BBTK secretary Olivier Van Camp on Wednesday evening. "Management insisted on additional conditions that were unacceptable." As a result, they have decided to go on strike from 27 to 30 March.

While the airline was struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic, all Brussels Airlines staff took pay cuts and worked more. Now the airline is profitable again, they want a share. According to Van Camp, management wanted to offset some of the higher wages by giving pilots less weekend rest, which the unions found unacceptable.

Brussels Airlines management has said on several occasions that it understands the demand for a pay rise, but that it must also take into account the "fragile financial reality" of the company.

Earlier this week, management and unions reached an agreement on better pay for the airline's cabin crew.



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