The social protest against the Michel government caused an “above average” number of days of strikes in 2016. Only the Dehaene I training has known more, according to the latest figures of the ETUI European Trade Union Institute.
Since the beginning of Charles Michel as Prime Minister in the fall of 2014, up to September 2016, 12.8 days of strikes were recorded on average per month for 1,000 employees. Only the Dehaene I government (1992-1995) had more with an average of 13.4 days, according to the ETUI count.
After the general strike in 2014 and a “normal” year from the standpoint of strikes in 2015, social pressure increased in 2016, according to Kurt Vandaele, a researcher at the European Trade Union Institute. Specifically, the first nine months of 2016 show 82 days for 1,000 workers, with strikes in the railway and prison sectors, as well as a national protest in May against government policy and a general strike organised by the Socialist union in June. The sectors that have suffered the most work stoppages are metallurgy (one quarter of the shares), transport and logistics, as well as the public.
However, it is not expected that the record number of strikes will be exceeded, according to Kurt Vandaele, the unions not having scheduled any other social actions at this stage. “Politicians are also slowly entering elections mode, with fewer interventions that could lead to social unrest.”