Prime Minister Charles Michel on Friday deplored the notice to strike on 10 October, served by Belgium’s public service union federation, CGSP/ACOD, and, in particular, the effects it will have on public transport users. The strike, called a ‘Day of Action’, means “commuters are being held hostage”, he said at the end of a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The strike is aimed at denouncing the federal government’s policy on public services, with each section of the federation deciding whether to participate. Thus far the strike will paralyse the railways and the postal service. The CGSP/ACOD has also called on other public servants, including police, municipal workers, fire service personnel and hospital employees, to take part in the protest.
“If that is the case, I deplore the situation,” said Prime Minister Michel, who slammed what he described as a “manipulation”.
“I do not even know why they are striking,” he added. “They haven’t contacted us.”