'Strikes not ruled out': Belgian unions will hold actions in early March

'Strikes not ruled out': Belgian unions will hold actions in early March
Protest action of the trade unions of public sector in Brussels on 31 January 2023. Credit: Belga/Nicolas Maeterlinck

At the start of next month (from Monday 6 to Friday 10 March), the public sector unions will be holding awareness and protest actions – which may include more strikes – to highlight the importance of investing in public services.

Strong public services make it possible for everyone to enjoy basic services such as healthcare, education, security or mobility, said the joint union front in a press release, stressing the need to solve staff shortages in key sectors, attractive wages and working conditions.

"Sectors of all unions are involved and planning actions," said Chris Reniers of the ACOD trade union. "This ranges from awareness-raising and informing on playful actions and handing out pamphlets to tougher actions. Strikes are not ruled out either."

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The unions demand a re-valuation with more (structural) resources, which should be used to scale up staff's pay, among other things. They also want more clarity on what will happen with their pensions and want to make sure the negotiations with the social sectors move forward.

"Only by making strong agreements and implementing them can the public sector gain, and through that, the rest of society."

Last week, a national demonstration by the public sector already saw over 18,000 protesters march in Brussels demanding the same things: urgent action against the staff shortages and the seemingly ever-increasing workload.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that union actions would take place between 6 and 10 February, instead of March.

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