Belgian union leader: “If we don’t do anything, nothing will change”
Friday, 06 May 2016
Two strikes and three other events are planned in the coming months. The general secretary of the General Federation of Workers in Belgium(FGTB) Marc Goblet said on Thursday (5 May) on RTBF: “The government has electoral legitimacy but social dialogue is part of how things work in this country. Working conditions should be decided with the social partners but the government doesn’t respect the dialogue.”
“This is to deny democracy,” he added.
Goblet reacted against various flexibility measures that have been announced by the minister of employment, Kris Peeters. “Workers aren’t elastic. With these measures the workers will be at the mercy of the employers and the power balance in the labour market will be affected.”
The measures were decided in connection with the budgetary control of the federal government. Among others, the working week of 38 hours would be replaced by a system which would allow people to work more at some times and less at others but maximum 45 hours a week and nine hours a day.
To protest against these measures, the unions announced on Wednesday on a timetable for actions in the coming months. A national event will be held on May 24 before a strike by the unions on June 24. Other events are planned in September and a second national strike is expected on 7 October.