At the beginning of the Easter holidays and the summer holidays, it was the customs that carried out the punctuality procedure. Now it is up to the Federal Police.
After the attacks five years ago, more people and resources were promised to Zaventem Airport. “But what do we see today. We still drive with worn out cars and the staff shortage is getting worse day by day,” one of the inspectors tells us. And it doesn’t look like a recovery is coming.
The police will recruit 1,600 men this year, 400 who will go to the Federal Police. The federal police at the airport were hoping to get about a hundred of them. But it is by no means certain whether more people will come. Savings must be made and choices must be made. Police at the airport fear reinforcements will not return. says Luke Brugelmans, a permanent police representative within the ACOD.
At the moment it is still relatively calm at the airport because not all flights are operating yet. But if no more policemen arrive soon, there will be long queues at checkpoints next year.
“What’s really upsetting about the police is that they’re pressured to act faster with the few people they have. It can lead to dangerous situations, they should be aware of that now,” stresses Breugelmanns.
Now it also appears that the promised wage hike may not come after all. This became evident during the sectoral negotiations.
To bolster their discontent, police forces began punctuality on Friday. “Police officers at border control points will do their job perfectly, which leads to possible queues. It is a shame that this happens at the beginning of the holiday, but other than that it certainly will not help,” it seems.
Those traveling on holiday are advised to arrive at the airport on time on Friday. The Border Police may also be involved at the Brussels South train station. Long queues can arise there.
Police unions VSOA, NSPV, ACV and ACOD have also activated a Wednesday strike notice valid until December 1. The reason is the government’s position on union proposals for NAVAP, or “inactivity before retirement,” a type of early retirement.
The notice of the strike at the beginning of October led to the first meeting on 14 October. Then Home Secretary Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) asked unions to submit new proposals on an end-of-career measure. During the sectoral negotiations on Wednesday, the parties failed to reach consensus.
It has become clear to us that the various partners of the government, such as the Minister of the Interior, do not attach importance to an effective and attractive police apparatus. Politicians only sell lies,” the police unions said.