As announced at last week’s protests, police unions are calling for a strike on Tuesday. Picket lines will be formed but “we will not prevent our colleagues from working,” says Vincent Gilles, President of SLFP Police Union. The police force is legally required to provide a minimum of service. This is the first national strike since the reform that created the two-tier structure, federal and local, in 2001. ” We cannot say how many officers will take part in the strike however there is a strong willingness on the part of the officers to participate. If we reach 5,000, then the strike will have been a total success, “said Vincent Gilles.
For the population, the impact of the movement should be minimal. “The law requires that the federal police offer a minimum of service. For the local police the different zones will establish the perimeters of minimum service in consultation with the unions,” said Stéphane Deldicque, Permanent Delegate of the CCS Police union. There will be officers present in the reception areas of the police stations as well as response teams on the field. The 195 local police zones will also continue to manage certain administrative tasks.
Last Thursday, nearly 14,000 officers marched through the streets of the capital protesting the Constitutional Court’s decision to deny the police officers who were part of the former state police the right to retire between the ages of 54 and 58 years old instead of 62. “Since then there has been nothing but dead air from the Swedish partners” laments Vincent Gilles. “We are preparing for an autumn filled with social events. Our power will increase gradually.”
Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)