Extending flexible-jobs system is ‘unacceptable,’ says Federation of trade unions
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    Extending flexible-jobs system is ‘unacceptable,’ says Federation of trade unions

    The proposal is 'unacceptable' according to the federation. Credit: Belga

    The proposal to extend the flexible-jobs system to employment seekers and the construction sector, of the liberal Open VLD party, is a no-go for the Construction and Energy wing of the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions, CSCBIE.

    The Christian federation described the proposal as “unacceptable”, arguing that this type of work undermines social security and makes the statutes of workers more precarious.

    For now, only employees working on a 4/5ths workload system and retirees qualify for flexible jobs. According to the Syndicat Neutre pour Indépendants, which represents self-employed workers and consultancies, this is a good way to offset a temporary labour shortage, especially around Christmas and New Year, when stores, bakeries and butcheries, for example, face a heavy affluence, and students with a job stay away to prepare for their exams.

    Open Vld agrees, stressing that jobseekers need to acquire experience as part of their efforts to land jobs. Parliamentarian Egbert Lachaert thus proposed on Sunday to broaden the system and cover them, as an intermediate step on the path to full-time employment. He felt stores would like this, as would construction companies.

    “The pretext of training by flexible jobs is ridiculous,” countered to the unions, arguing that there were already many possibilities for combining training and interim work. “In fact, it’s not new jobs that are not being created, but rather precarious statuses,” the federation noted.

    “Flexible jobs undermine social security by depriving it of much income,” commented CSCBIE President Patrick Vandenberghe.

    He warns that extending the system to include the construction sector is “out of the question” and actions will be undertaken immediately if that were to be the case.

    Vandenberghe is strongly opposed “not only because of the many professional skills on demand in the sector, but also from a job-security standpoint.”

    “Social dumping and the exploitation of workers are already hurting the sector,” he noted.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times