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Chaos At BRU, As SN Employees Strike  
User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11
Posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 3048 times:

More than 1,000 Sabena employees are on strike. The strikes, which are by the way not organised by the unions (but, however, they recognize and support them) , turned BRU into full chaos.

First of all, employees from the handling department decided to go on strike. Later on, they were followed by employees from the Catering and Cleaning departments. Most of the pilots and FA's as well as check-in agents however wish to continue to work for the moment.

Nevertheless, more than 90 flights already have been cancelled. The other flights were often delayed.

Passengers had to walk their own baggage to and from the aircraft.

Also, the employees blocked the access roads to the airport this afternoon. And, they even went on the ramp on the air-side of the airport, and tried to get support from other Sabena employees.

As you can see, things got quite messy (again) over here in BRU. I wonder what the employees are going to do tomorrow, when the BoD meet somewhere near the airport (the village of Woluwe).

I can imagine that many passengers really are fed up with all these strikes. Once again, they are the true victims of this strike, and I think these latest strikes will seriously harm the image of Sabena.


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2954 times:

I found a news article on the following website:



Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineOO-VEG From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 1148 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

The Dutch news said that a strike tomorrow may be very likely.
The employees are striking due to the reorganisation SN has to make to become profitable again. The employees heard on the news the SN staff is most likely going to fire a lot of people.

User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2950 times:

I just read they're going to axe Washington and Tokyo from their network, sad Sad

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Stephan Curkowskyj

.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2940 times:

My information is that some 2,000 people will be retrenched; a number of aircraft are to be sold and routes shut down.

Amazingly, given that Sabena is in such dire financial straits, their employees (some at any rate) expect jobs for life!  Insane  Insane As i've said before, it's a sick dog that needs to be put out of its misery - and if these idiots have anything to do with it, that's exactly what will happen in the near future.

User currently offlineAirways From Switzerland, joined Mar 2001, 880 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (13 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2928 times:

I don't understand this crazy workers. By all respect, when will they finally realize that this silly strikes will never help.

When you have an oversized and loss making company, you can reorganize it and make it less money-wasting. Or you can go on like now until the company breaks down, completly.


User currently offlineMaverickk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 2910 times:

It is bad that they want to strike, but the majority does not wan't to strike, that's the sad part that a few hundred people jeopardise the jobs of thousands others by blocking everything and threating working employees.
There are to many people at Sabena that are there for political reasons, if they would go and everybody would look ahaed then I am sure that Sabena has a future!
But certainly not with these wild union strikes, they lead nowhere.

User currently offlineKUGN From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 615 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (13 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 2907 times:

Why are they blocking the access to the airport (if that info is true)? The airport is not exclusevly serving Sabena aircrafts, and therefore aren't they inconveniancing other airlines' travelers?

User currently offlineBicoastal From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 2902 times:

Let me understand, the airline is hanging on by a thread financially so its own employees decide to hasten its demise by striking and driving away what's left of its customer base?

As I've said before on this forum, good riddance!

User currently offlineJuul From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 2900 times:

I have lost all respect for those employees that are striking today. All they're doing is digging a grave. And it's a big one. Their own and that of the 9000 SN employees that choose NOT to strike. My heart goes out to those 9000 people.

User currently offlineMaverickk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 2891 times:

I agree with you Juul, they should fire those people and then the problem of to many employees is solved.
Those 9000 people want to give Sabena a future, they don't

User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (13 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 2879 times:

I think Juul and Maverickk are right. I can understand why these employees went on strike (the uncertainty is killing them I think.), but I don't think it's a good thing to do right now. It's definitely not the RIGHT thing to do at this very moment.

Instead, they should try to improve the image on Sabena, and offer service that's second to none. But, the only thing that they're doing right now is destroying what's left of the good image of Sabena, and they are also disturbing operations of other airlines. So, I think that Sabena can expect some damage claims during the following days. Too bad.


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineAirbuspilot From Belgium, joined Apr 2000, 416 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (13 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2874 times:

I totally agree. what happened today is totally irresponsable and foolish.
That is also the reason why the pilots specifically refused to take part in these actions!!!

It is too early to take any positions because the plan is not known yet. Those guys just heard something, they think " well we have the necessary money so we are all set" and they strike!!!!
Hereby jeopardising the jobs of 9000 others at SABENA, taking pax as hostage ( 90 flights cancelled today at SN alone!!!), blocking runways and accesroads to the airport and so on. What are they thinking....

We knew months ago that it was going to hurt, we knew that everything is for sale except flight-ops and handling...and yet they act now as if they where totally unaware!!!

Hereby undermining the confidence we finally begun to regain with the pax (occupation rates rising) and the confidence of shareholders and possible future partner airlines....
This is the best way to lead to the final closure of the company and they are totally unaware!!!

Today I had a flight return BRU. We had 4 hours delay, no catering on board including beverages (ATH-BRU full) and upon arrival in BRU we had to look for our own stairs, flight and cabin crew unloaded!!! the airplane and the pax had to walk on the tarmack to look for their lugage!!! Nice publicity!!!

This is no way of working!! Although I totally reject CEILLIDH f****** reply for the 1000th time (go and play with your matchbox boy!!!) and I will continue to do my outmost best to save this company (together with 9000 others by the way) I am starting to loose faith a little bit.....

User currently offlineSpitfire From France, joined Feb 2001, 801 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (13 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2868 times:

Airbuspilot, I totaly agree with you. Just have to wait a few more hours to know exactly what will be our future.

Concerning Ceilidh: GO TO HELL and STAY THERE. Don't waist our time with your sh..y mails anymore.

Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6644 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (13 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 2857 times:

Apuneger wrote:
"Once again, they [the passengers] are the true victims of this strike, and I think these latest strikes will seriously harm the image of Sabena."

Absolutely right, but in the long run the true victims may be the workers at BRU, not just SN employees, but all of them.

This strike is of course an important nail which may be the deciding one to secure the lid on the SN coffin.

Pax with BRU as destination won't have much choise, but today thousands of BRU pax learned a lesson. Tomorrow they will, each one of them, tell ten other people , who will tell... etc. And the greater part of the world's frequent flyers will know don't ever transit through BRU if it can be avoided. That is the textbook example about how to shrink a major international airport into a "pretty large regional" airport.

The pilots, they will find jobs in surrounding countries, no problem. But the airport workers, they will line up in a long queue of former aviation workers seeking a non-aviation job. If SN survives, then the queue will be shorter, but it will be there. Because of what happened today.

Regards, Preben Norholm

Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinePlaneguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 7 months 8 hours ago) and read 2832 times:

Well, it's like they say: Such A Bloody Experience Never Again!

Don't be discouraged though. One can always drive to Charleroi and fly Ryanair!

User currently offlineSpitfire From France, joined Feb 2001, 801 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (13 years 7 months 5 hours ago) and read 2821 times:

Planeguy ....one more stupid guy on this forum !!!

Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
User currently offlineTriStar From Belgium, joined Oct 1999, 848 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (13 years 7 months 4 hours ago) and read 2806 times:

Every now and then, vermin will craw from under their rocks and show their real faces. And it's not a pretty sight.
Amazingly, I'm sure these people won't even realise they lie at the core of this statement. As Spitfire said: stop wasting our time and don't wear out our eyes with statements you pull out of your rear ends.

In disgust,


User currently offlineJuul From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (13 years 7 months 3 hours ago) and read 2792 times:


Oh how very original you are! We've never heard that one before! Thought you'd make yourself interesting by playing yet again the very same stupid, mindless word-game that we've heard thousands of times before, usually from people like yourself, who are too CHICKEN to say who they are. Let me take a guess: you've never flown Sabena, have you?

Please join that creep Ceilidth and get a life! Preferably outside of these forums.

Greetings Big grin

User currently offlineApuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3032 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (13 years 7 months ago) and read 2773 times:


Today, thursday, almost the same story as yesterday. Once again, many European flights (only the Sabena ones) had to be cancelled.

Once again, more than 1 000 workers (handling, catering, technics, cleaning) went on strike.

Many passengers had to look for an available seat on another airline, such as Alitalia and Iberia just to name two.

They even tried to disrupt the very important company council, and sort of menaced CEO Christoph Müller. He had to be walked into the building where the company council was held, accompanied by 3 or 4 body guards.


Ivan Coninx - Brussels Aviation Photography
User currently offlineKUGN From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 615 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (13 years 7 months ago) and read 2770 times:

Juul, could you explain me what is so bad in what Planeguy has said? I'm an outsider to BRU/SN issues, so I hope explain to us what is so bad in statemant he had made.

User currently offlineJuul From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (13 years 7 months ago) and read 2765 times:


The 'Such a Bloody .....' statement is about as old as the company itself, is way past its days of being funny, and is, in this situation, with 10000 jobs on the line, inappropriate to say the least, especially when coming from somebody like Planeguy, who most probably has never ever flown SN in his whole life.

I was not reacting to what he said about Ryanair, if that's what you were thinking. Nothing wrong with some competition.

Greetings Big grin

User currently offlineAirbuspilot From Belgium, joined Apr 2000, 416 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2754 times:

Here is the real situation:

Wednesday, 08 August

Consequences of industrial actions :

- Operational data : Production plans were adapted well in time in order to allow ground operations to reorganize the work on tarmac and in order to be able to give correct information to our passengers
Due to the efforts of all personnel involved, no extra cancellations were needed,eesulting in : 86 flights cancelled out of 226 flights planned : 31 on SN A/C, 43 on DAT A/C and 12 on others Long Haul flights : all 12 flights were operated

- Impact on passengers : - Almost all flights Europe left without catering, inbound flights were catered in outstations - Vouchers were distributed to compensate lack of catering on flights of more than 1 hour 30 minutes - Bags to be carried by passengers to/from aircraft on departure and arrival - Maximum of transfer passengers were rerouted avoiding Brussels

- Impact on third parties : These flights were given priority for handling, but suffered delay due to the industrial action

Thursday, 09 August

Consequences of industrial actions :

- Production plans : - morning wave (until 09.00h local time) : normal operation
- between 09.00h and 14.00h local time : SN : 16 flights cancelled out of 31 flights planned,
DAT : 24 flights cancelled out of 31 flights planned
- between 14.00h and 19.00h local time SN : 9 flights cancelled out of 23 flights planned
DAT : 9 flights cancelled out of 26 flights planned
- all 12 long haul flights are maintained
- Impact on passengers : - as stated above - no major delay in handling long haul arrivals
- half of flights Europe out of Brussels were catered with sandwiches in order to limit voucher distribution

This clearly shows that a lot of volunteers are doing their outmost best to serve our clients, the pax. They are taking the crap caused by 500!! brainless people who think we still live in the golden 70s where everything was still possible (parastatale!).

I know that we as pilots did strike to a couple of months ago. But this was a well organised action to state a point. We all knew we would be there just untill noon and we never took pax as a hostage. We did not block a runway and we did not strike today and yesterday!!!What is happening now is an outrage!!Th fact that Muller had to come in protected by bodyguards---->are these the middle ages??Those guys did not even know what they where talking about!!!(I hope one of them has the brains to read this posting...)

1 hour ago they announced 1420 people will get fired. There are 10000 people working at SN and once again they talk about 800 people to get sacked amongst flying personnel (600 cabin crew and + 200 pilots). Is this serious?? Wer have a meeting with our CEO this evening, I am very interested but it sure does not look good for aviation in Belgium.

With regrets,

User currently offlineSpitfire From France, joined Feb 2001, 801 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2751 times:

First info concerning the Müller Businees Plan:
job lost: 1421 up to 2002, in wich 608 Cabin Crew (about 30% of total !).
More to come soon.

Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
User currently offlineCeilidh From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (13 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2752 times:

It's attitudes like those of Spitfire, Juul and Airbuspilot that typify those of Sabena employees. They expect jobs for life - yet are not prepared to go the extra mile to do what it takes to create a world class company. They are not interested in customer service nor in cutting costs - check out the salaries of some of the senior SN crew members!! You think the Delta/American guys are on big bucks ... wait until you see them (and how little flying they actually do)!!

I have flown SN many, many times. I'm a TravelClub member, and I generally fly J class (F, when they had it, on the JNB route). I've run a cargo airline based out of Ostend that operated codeshare cargo services to the Middle and Far East; together with West Africa and South America. I've run a passenger airline that has provided pax feed from BJM to KGL and EBB. I've bought an F28 from DAT.

And I can attest to this - Sabena, deep down (not on the surface, where it doesn't really matter) HAS NOT CHANGED. The civil service/government employee attitute of "I'm all right; they can't fire me, this is a job for life" still permeates the company. And that old saying still holds as true today as it ever has: SABENA - SUCH A BLOODY EXPERIENCE, NEVER AGAIN!

To the Belgian government, I say this - think of your taxpayers; think of Sabena's passengers and other customers.


25 Post contains images Spitfire : That's EXACTLY what I was waiting from your CEILIDH. You show to the entire aviation world who your are realy. Nice demonstration. We have nothing to
26 Tca256 : Ceilidh, “dank u wel et merci encore” for this deep hearted wish for all sabena’s families who could suffer from a bankrupcy, regard
27 OO-AOG : The poor ones that will be fired will probably be all the ones without any trade union memberships. All the trade union's leaders that have contribute
28 FLYSAB : Hey Ceilidh, Do you know what masochist mean ? How can you hate Sabena so much while you're a travelclub member ? There's something seriously wrong wh
29 Airbuspilot : For your info CEILLIDH, I AM one of the younger pilots in risk of loosing its job but at least I have a basic notion of manners and morality. I still
30 Freeboot : Once again Ceilidh just causes trouble. Claimed to have 4000+ hours in command of heavy jets. Claimed to have run all sorts of aviation companies. Jus
31 Airbuspilot : OOH, i did forget one thing! Please tell all the people her how much a senior SN crew member earns an please tell them how less we fly...Please do. An
32 Ceilidh : There comes a time when everything must end. The better people, I am sure, will find jobs elsewhere - for example Ryanair or Virgin. Unfortunately, Sa
33 Flying Belgian : AirbusPilot : I find you a bit agressive. I think the most privileged people within Sabena are the Airbus pilot who undergo a much lower amont of work
34 Bicoastal : There are some Sabena employees on this forum who understandably do not have the perspective or detachment to see clearly what is happening. I can und
35 Airbuspilot : Well well well, 1)do you really think that virgin express would still be here if it was not for the flights they do for SN.FCU,BCN, LHR all those flig
36 Post contains images Ceilidh : As it happens, I think that DAT is a much more professional and better run company that Sabena ever was. Hopefully, they will be able to continue flyi
37 Airbuspilot : FLYIN BELGIAN, make your homework better next time. I earn 2.5 time more than a baggagist but I did have to study 3 years and I have to pay-off 2.5 mi
38 Flying Belgian : If Ryanair was paid by the waloons so was Sabena by the Belgian Government during 50 years SabenaPilot ??? The way you say that is disgusting... Don't
39 Spitfire : Do you know who are in charge of DAT for the last years ????? Guess.... No, not Ceilidh!! (they would have faced bancrupt already...).
40 Kenny : Flying Belgian: It's true that Sabena has got money from the Belgian State, but the Belgian State has always been a shareholder of Sabena (now 50.5%)!
41 Juul : A NAMECHANGE???????
42 Kenny : Yes, in the new of 19h in Belgium, Müller declared that Sabena needs to clean up their name and if needed change their name. ------- Kenny Moens Sabe
43 Post contains images Ceilidh : Airbuspilot - how can you say that Ryanair ""has no safety"? They are a considerably safer company to fly on than SN ... they haven't had any crashes
44 Juul : I have my reservations about the name-change... This would mean spending LOTS of money to change all the logos, they'd have to re-paint the whole flee
45 Kenny : You're right! Same thing: Technics has profit, why sell it? I think Sobelair also has profit, but I don't know that exactly. -------- Kenny Moens Sabe
46 Ceilidh : I agree with Juul over this ... there are much better things to be doing rather than just changing the name of the company! If you change the name, bu
47 Juul : Well, Technics being profitable, they'll probably get a good price for it, which is what it's all about: raising money. BTW, are you sure they're goin
48 Kenny : I'm not sure, i can only say what they say at the news. -------- Kenny Moens Sabena Virtual Airlines Staff Member
49 Sterne82 : Great Ceilidh... You must hope Sabena to die, but do not forget something; as we said here in Belgium, "si tu souhaites la mort de qq'un il vivra 7 an
50 Kenny : Yeah, they can get a good price for it, that's true. But reasing that money is only short term, may be it can give profit for several years. That's th
51 Post contains links Lj : Airbuspilot, at least VEX makes a profit (something which SN managed to do only once in 40 years). Moreover VEX doesn't really need the SN flights as
52 MEA-707 : I planned to fly SN tomorrow, from AMS connecting through BRU to Madrid in the afternoon. Does anyone here know if I can expect delays, or if I will g
53 OO-AOG : It's not a secret, if you want Sabena to become profitable, you have 2 solutions: 1- You shut down and restart on fresh basis 2- You have many employe
54 Juul : LJ, Virgin Express is losing money.
55 Lj : According to Bloomberg VEX is again profitable (I have to agree it was also a surpise for me). Last month they actually issued a press release to make
56 Apuneger : Seems like I've started a really interesting debate. Unfortunately, things started to get heated up :-( Although many comments, posted by users are re
57 Prebennorholm : This thread has so far been really strange. There are two groups of contributors, Belgians and the rest of the world. Nothing strange with that. But w
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