Belgium -National strike grips country when EU leaders meet -January 30, 2012

A united trade union front, including the FGTB-ABVV, CSC-ACV and ACLVB confederations, staged a nationwide general strike against austerity measures and in favour of protecting jobs on Monday 30 January, not accidentally the day EU leaders met in Brussels. .In the light of European austerity policies and a disappointing economic growth policy, the union front fears that in Belgium working people and people receiving social security benefits will be the target of further austerity measures in addition to those already decided by the government. In spite of polls saying that only a minority of Belgians supported the strike, it was widespread and clearly the largest in two decades. The railway network closed, buses and trams sat in depots, schools and shops shut and production stopped at the factories of many companies including carmakers Audi and Volvo, Coca Cola, and imaging group Agfa-Gevaert. High-speed international trains, such as the Eurostar to/from London and Thalys to/from Paris, were not running into or out of the country as of late on Sunday. At Europe's second busiest port, Antwerp, all container and some bulk cargo terminals were shut (See also this Collective Bargaining Newsletter Year 4 November and December 2011).

English:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/30/uk-belgium-strike ...;
http://www.euronews.net/2012/01/30/unions-want-to-reverse-austerity … 

Dutch: http://www.dealternatieven.be/

French: http://www.csc-en-ligne.be/

 

This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) M.vanKlaveren@uva.nl or the communications officer of the ETUI, Mariya Nikolova mnikolova@etui.org. You may find further information on the ETUI at www.etui.org, and on the AIAS at www.uva-aias.net. © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2012.


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