SNCB included in national strike on 31 May

SNCB included in national strike on 31 May
Credit: Belga

The three government trade unions have confirmed their strike action on Tuesday 31 May. This will include staff members of the national railway operator SNCB. The impact on its services is not yet clear.

The national strike action day for public services includes a strike announcement for the railways, Günther Blauwens, General Secretary of socialist government trade union ACOD, confirmed to The Brussels Times.

"With this strike, we are calling for more purchasing power as well as a boost in recruitment and improvement to our pensions. However, the main issue for us is the staff shortages."

Blauwens explained that cuts by the previous government have hit staff numbers: "(The Government) has still not recognised the need for proactive recruitment; recruits must undergo training and can't just be hired from one day to the next."

Although he was unable to confirm how many people would participate in the strike, Blauwens stressed that there is "a lot of disappointment with the staff shortages."

Impact unknown

SNCB's spokesperson Dimitri Temmerman reiterated that since it is unclear how many staff will go on strike, it is hard to predict the scale of disruptions.

"We will ask our staff members before the strike who will be taking part and who will be working. Based on this information, we will draw up an alternative train service for that day, so that we can ensure our guaranteed train service policy," he told The Brussels Times.

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More information on these services will be announced 24 hours before the strike.

ACOD said the action is aimed at combating the "general discontent" in the public sector. Strikes are also expected in the education sector.

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