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    Rail strike could hit Belgium during busy July weekend

    Credit: Belga

    Rail traffic could be heavily impacted during a weekend in which two world-renowned events are set to take place in Belgium, after rail workers on Thursday submitted a strike notice for July 27.

    The rail workers SIC trade union submitted the strike notice on Thursday following intense negotiations with management over recurrent understaffing problems, according to Le Soir.

    If the company is unable to deter the announced strike, it could bring serious disturbances to circulation in Belgium as it hosts two major international events.

    The world-famous Tomorrowland festival is set to kick off on Friday and last through Monday, July 29.

    Attendants for the Libramont fair, Europe’s largest agricultural open-air event, will also be impacted as the strike is set to hit on the second day of the event, slated to start on July 26.

    Rail workers say that the understaffing problem means many among them cannot go on holiday, and that it was “not uncommon” for planned days-off to be called off at the last minute to staff shortages, according to Le Soir.

    Union and management are set to hold a new round of talks on Tuesday. If the workers go through with the strike, the SNCB will announce the list of cancelled or impacted trains 24 hours in advance at the latest, in accordance with regulations.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times