Strike spreads against DHL

Strike spreads against DHL

The International Transport Workers Federation warned Wednesday that a local labor problem in Belgium could turn into a major international dispute for DHL Worldwide.

The dust-up began when DHL fired a senior shop steward in Brussels, prompting his co-workers at the airport to refuse to load DHL aircraft, according to the labor federation.

The ITF said its Belgian affiliate, SETCA, had asked it to warn other trade unions that DHL planned to divert flights to airports in Metz, France; Cologne, Germany; and East Midlands, United Kingdom. SETCA staff at Brussels International Airport went on strike Tuesday night. Workers in Metz planned to follow suit on Wednesday, according to the ITF. while workers in Cologne planned to work to rule. At East Midlands Airport union members appealed to DHL not to ruin the good labor relations there by trying to force them to carry out strikebreaking work.

David Cockroft, the ITF's general secretary, said the union planned to write to Klaus Zumwinkel, chairman of DHL's parent company, Deutsche Post World Net, to warn him of the risks that DHL is taking, and to encourage him to begin immediate talks with the Belgian union to solve the problem locally.