STIB and De Lijn networks will also be affected by strikes on 31 May

STIB and De Lijn networks will also be affected by strikes on 31 May
Credit: Benoit Doppagne/ Belga

A national strike that is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 31 May is also expected to severely impact the network of Brussels public transport operator STIB, the company announced on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the three government trade unions confirmed their strike action, and that this would include staff members of the national railway operator SNCB. STIB has now confirmed it is also one of the affected sectors.

"The STIB network will be severely disrupted on 31 May due to the national day of action organised by the trade unions," a statement from the company read.

It added that "for the time being, it is impossible to estimate the extent of the drivers' participation in this action, but STIB expects considerable disruption on the bus, tram and metro network."

Even if some vehicles do run on the day of the strike actions, their normal frequency cannot be guaranteed, the company stressed.

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The company apologised to its travellers, and said it advises them to "provide alternatives to public transport for getting around." Meanwhile, it will provide travellers with real-time information throughout the day via its website, the mobile app and its social media platforms.

Hindrance across Belgium

Flemish public transport operator De Lijn also confirmed to The Brussels Times that, "unfortunately, there will also be an inconvenience for us." The company's spokesperson explained that, while the action is not targeted against De Lijn, its staff members can take part in the strike action.

"What the exact impact will be is not yet known, because we will first ask around to find out who will take part."

With the strike, trade unions are calling for increased purchasing power and pensions, and for a solution to the staff shortages in various sectors. Staff shortages at SNCB are even leading to several trains being cancelled.

SNCB's spokesperson told The Brussels Times it could also not predict how many people would participate in the strike, but one trade union officer said that there is “a lot of disappointment" among staff.

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