A letter from the unions to Brussels Airlines employees shows that the pilots are considering striking every Sunday between 26 February and 26 March, but “negotiations are still in full swing,” Tim Roelandt, secretary of the ACLVB/CGLSB trade union told Business AM.
Earlier this month, the social partners at the Ministry of Labour met with a social mediator, but the reconciliation talks about indexation of the so-called “cafeteria plan” have so far failed. 20 February was put forward as the deadline to reach an agreement. Via the cafeteria plan, employees receive a budget as part of their wages to put together a package of fringe benefits, such as extra holidays, pension insurance or a smartphone.
As a result of the “Reboot Plus” transformation plan necessary for the airline to return to profitability, the unions concluded a collective labour agreement with the management in 2020, whereby the pilots receive 30 percent of their wages through the cafeteria plan. The pilot unions denounce the fact that the cafeteria plan is not indexed to the cost of living.
In the letter to the staff seen by Business AM, there is a suggestion to stop work for four Sundays between 26 February and 26 March if no agreement is reached.
According to Tim Roelandt, it is still too early to say that actions will take place. “Everything depends on how the negotiations will proceed,” he said. “If we cannot reach a settlement, we will consider whether legal or social action will be appropriate.”