Since 13:00 this afternoon, Brussels Airlines management and the unions representing the pilots are again discussing the wages, pensions and work schedules of the pilots. A strike notice is still pending, hence new actions are not excluded. Tonight the Brussels Airlines pilots will decide on eventual new social actions.
The pilots already gave a first warning with a two-day strike in May. After a cooling-off period and a reconciliation attempt, the negotiations resumed today. The unions, however, are not happy with the new offer. “We are very skeptical and we still have to make great progress“, said trade unionist Anita Van Hoof before the start of the meeting. Filip Lemberechts agreed: “I think there are still a number of things to do: work-life balance and remuneration,” he said. “Hopefully tonight we can present something to the pilots on which they will agree.”
The recent interview with Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa which owns 100% of Brussels Airlines since last December, casts a shadow on the talks, said Filip Lemberechts. Spohr last week said that Brussels Airlines should not expect any gifts if it does not achieve better financial results first. And that strikes are not the right way to improve those results.
Paul Buekenhout added that: “A number of items go into the right direction, but there must be a total package. For two weeks, we worked very constructively behind the scenes; the interview with the Lufthansa CEO was certainly not positive, on the contrary.”
Tonight we expect to issue more news about the results of today’s meeting.