De Lijn drivers launch spontaneous strike after aggressive incident
Friday, 29 March 2019
In the bus depot of De Lijn in the Merksem district of Antwerp, drivers have stopped work in a strike on Friday afternoon. The spontaneous strike occurred after a colleague became the victim of aggression on the bus, according to reports.
The 49-year-old woman was attacked on her bus on line 670 on Friday morning when she had stopped at the bus stop at Sint-Jansplein in Antwerp North.
“The driver had addressed a passenger about the fact that he was drinking on the bus,” says Tom Van de Vreken, spokesman for the transport company De Lijn. The unknown man first became verbally aggressive and then began to push and pull the woman, which led to her falling an being injured.
The victim was taken to the Stuivenberg Hospital, says police spokesman Wouter Bruyns. Her attacker fled away, but the police have a good description of the man.
For the woman’s colleagues, the aggression was enough to cause them to act.
“In the past, we have often asked for closed steering stations. We are repeating that question now,” says Peter Van Puyenbroeck of the socialist union ACOD.
North of Antwerp, bus traffic is severely disrupted, only a few drivers are said to be at work. The striking drivers want a reaction from their employer. De Lijn announced that the consultation with the drivers will be started.