Brussels transport disrupted as workers demand ‘coronaproof’ social protections
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Brussels transport disrupted as workers demand ‘coronaproof’ social protections

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Brussels’ public transport network will be rocked by disruptions throughout Monday as workers protest against employers’ reluctance to increase workers’ coronavirus protections.

Metro line 6 is not running and more than half of STIB/MIVB’s bus network has been brought to a complete halt as unions lead protests to demand companies take “coronaproof” actions for their employees.

“Half of the tram lines are working while the metro is running on Brussels’ small ring (line 2),” STIB spokesperson Françoise Ledune said, adding that metro line 5 was also not running between the stations Erase and Merode.

Ledune said that regular updates would be posted online as well as on STIB’s social media channels.

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Wallonia’s public transport company TEC also said that it was expecting its services in Brussels to be impacted while De Lijn is not currently reporting any disruptions.

Unions are leading protests across the country to demand workers’ social protections are bolstered as many are hit by the coronavirus crisis, with actions expected in cities like Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, Liège, Mons and Charleroi.

Their key demands include that all social welfare benefits to be hiked so that none remains below the poverty threshold and for pensions to be of a minimum of €1,500 net per month.

Ledune said that the impact of the protests on STIB’s network was “considerable,” with disruptions set to last throughout the day but expected to return to normal from Tuesday.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times