Nationwide rail strike announced in Belgium on 10 March

Nationwide rail strike announced in Belgium on 10 March
Credit: Belga / Hatim Kaghat

There will be a national railway strike on Friday 10 March, the socialist unions CGSP Cheminots and ACOD Spoor confirmed on Monday. The strike aims to highlight the importance of investing in public services such as healthcare, education, security or mobility.

The strike will be part of the previously announced wider union actions in early March against the underfunding and occupation of public services and the government's pension plans. The union is stressing the need to solve staff shortages in key sectors, as well as work on attractive wages and working conditions.

"The railway strike will start at 22:00 on Thursday 9 March and end at 22:00 on Friday 10 March," Günther Blauwens, president of the socialist railway union ACOD Spoor, confirmed to Belga News Agency.

Actions are also possible in other government branches; the socialist government trade union announced last week that it was also planning actions on 10 March, including actions against the Federal Government's pension plans.

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The unions demand a re-valuation with more (structural) resources, which should be used to scale up staff's pay, among other things. They also want more clarity on what will happen with their pensions and want to ensure the negotiations with the social sectors move forward.

During the rest of the week (from Monday 6 to Friday 10 March), the public sector unions will be holding more awareness and protest actions to highlight the importance of investing in public services.

"Sectors of all unions are involved and planning actions," Chris Reniers of the ACOD trade union said in early February. "This ranges from awareness-raising and informing on playful actions and handing out pamphlets to tougher actions. Strikes are not ruled out either."

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