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Deadlock in negotiations as airport runs out of luggage space
Negotiations between unions and management at Brussels Airport over the industrial action by baggage handling company Swissport broke down last night, with no agreement reached. Thierry Vuchelen of the ACLVB/CGSLB union said that after two days’ striking, the new terms offered by the management were “worse than before the strike”. “We can’t exactly convince the workers to resume work: all we have done is go back. All credibility is gone,” he said. Brussels Airport talks of a “saturation point”. Spokesman Jan Van der Cruysse expects a drop in the number of cancelled flights today, while stressing it was “time we found a solution”. He also highlighted the growing economic damage to the airport and the inconvenience to passengers. Airlines wishing to handle luggage themselves – which they are entitled to do – have been prevented from doing so by the strikers. The airport is also running out of space to store the luggage left stranded by the strike. At least 10,000 bags had already been accumulated yesterday. Swissport staff went on strike on Sunday evening to protest against staff shortages, which the unions say led to very heavy workloads and endanger the safety of personnel.