Prices are skyrocketing, but wages aren’t: Unions protest at Brussels North Station

Prices are skyrocketing, but wages aren’t: Unions protest at Brussels North Station
Unions organised a protest in Brussels in December 2021, demanding higher wages amid inflation. Photo from EPSU Union on Twitter.

Several thousand members of some of Belgium's biggest trade unions are gathering at Brussels North station on Monday morning in protest of the country’s standard wage law.

“Housing, heating, food, fuel... Prices are skyrocketing for everything, making life more and more expensive,” reads a statement from the CSC union.

“The problem is that incomes are not increasing at the same rate, as wage increases are severely restricted by the wage standard law. Even in companies that are making big profits, the law prevents us from negotiating more.”

Protestors gathered at the train station around 10:30 AM to begin a march through Brussels around 11:00 AM.

A thousands-strong turnout is expected, with Bruzz reporting they kicked off the protest with fireworks.

“When it is no longer possible to stay at the negotiating table, we must be able to take to the streets, take collective action, and strike...without the risk of being prosecuted! This democratic fact is unfortunately under threat,” CSC said in its statement.

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They’re protesting for “the freedom to freely negotiate wage increases, for the freedom of association, [and] for the freedom of action which are and must remain fundamental rights.”

Organisers assure that the demonstration will comply with the current Covid-19 health regulations. Yet despite face masks being mandatory for participants, not everyone is observing this stipulation.

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