Employees have had to fight a long time to get the right to strike, both in Belgium and in a lot of other countries. I support strongly the fact that people strike when their rights are violated or in case of bad management.
Sabena's management has made big mistakes in the past. Although his intentions where probably more than good, Reutlinger (Sabena's former CEO) was too ambitious. He had no eye for the balance, with today's catastrophy as a result. But not only Reutlinger, a lot of his predecessors, not in the least the Belgian government, share the responsibility for Sabena 's current unhealthy situation.
Müller was invited to fix the problems. When he accepted, he had no idea about how bad the situation was. Quite soon, he knew what an almost impossible job was waiting for him. Months and months, he worked with the best people on a Business Plan, resulting in one of the most detailed and well argumented I have ever seen. I wonder whether anyone else is able to give a better plan for Sabena.
The pilots, however, do not want to see this. At this moment, they, and after the suit of Friday also the unions, are indeed playing with Sabena's future. I sometimes wonder whether the unions think Müller cuts the number of jobs for his pleasure. I do not understand that the unions and the pilots don't see that this time it is necesarry to follow the plan and to accept the loss of 1400 jobs. If they do not follow, not just 1400 jobs (2000 people involved) will loose their job, but 12000.
I just hope that at that moment, the unions will accept responsibility! I hope that some people here will have the courage to stand up and say that the majority of the responsibility of the end of Sabena is for the unions and the pilots.
I support the unions and more than anyone else I am aware of their crucial funtion in a company. They have to make sure that not only the shareholders are in the mind of the management, but also the employees. But in the case of Sabena, the shareholders have nothing to win anymore. Untill now, they have invested without a certain future ahead. It is now time for all people involved to take up their responsibility, to show that they are mature enough to start the negotiations. I understand Müller when he says that every day that passes now, is a loss of possibilities to find a better solution for the employees. With every strike, the number of people that will have to leave will rise!!
If it is true that next week will be another week of social actions at Sabena, I think we have to accept that there indeed is no future anymore for our airline. Already now, people are turning away from Sabena again. To win them back will be ten times more difficult. They have choice enough. Certainly the time and service sensitive high spender business passenger, who asks reliability. No matter how sad it is, even just to say this, the end of Sabena is, near, even for me who never wanted to belive it. It is sad to see that grown up people, at the head of the unions or the Belgian Cockpit Association, of whom I thought they would be smart enough not to put the future of the whole company in danger, do not have this sense of responsibility.