In Flanders, between 40% and 45% of public transport operator De Lijn's trams and buses will not be operating on Friday as a result of a joint strike action organised by trade unions.
Similarly to the large-scale strike actions organised in certain parts of Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia three weeks ago, trade unions are calling on the government to increase wages and in turn improve the purchasing power of workers. The action is not directed against De Lijn.
As a result, on a regional level, an average of 60% of all rides are made. "40% of all rides will therefore not be made," a statement from the company read. The disruption is expected to last the entire day.
"As stipulated in a decree related to the strikes, we already had to determine 72 hours in advance what trams and buses will be operating and which won't," a spokesperson for De Lijn told The Brussels Times.
⚠ Door een vakbondsactie is er hinder voor onze dienstverlening. 👉 Kijk of je bus of tram rijdt in onze routeplanner ➡ https://t.co/WMqyoROzM2Onze excuses voor het ongemak.#DeLijn pic.twitter.com/sqRBtLm29B — De Lijn (@delijn) May 13, 2022
Tweet reads: "Due to a trade union action, our services are disrupted. Please check if your bus or tram is running in our route planner. Our apologies for the inconvenience."
What provinces will be most affected?
In East Flanders, the highest number of journeys will still be made (65%), followed by West Flanders and Flemish Brabant, where 60% of all journeys will be carried out. However, the coastal trams in West Flanders will run about 55% of all foreseen rides.
Both the provinces of Antwerp and Limburg are more heavily impacted, as just 55% of all rides will go ahead there. "The rural areas experience less disruption, the urban areas more," a De Lijn statement read.
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Based on the available staff, the company has worked out an alternative service, which can be consulted on the website's route planner and in the app, or by clicking on this link. Rides that are not running will not appear in the route planner.
"De Lijn deeply regrets the hindrance and inconvenience that this union action will bring about for travellers," the statement concluded.
Friday's trade union strike action is — just like three weeks ago — an announcement of a large national demonstration which will be held on 20 June.