Strike pickets outside Proximus and the Belfius tower in Brussels
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    Strike pickets outside Proximus and the Belfius tower in Brussels

    © Belga
    Trade unions are critical of the sudden digitization change in direction taken by Proximus and Belfius.
    © Belga

    Trade unions set up picket lines on Wednesday morning outside the main entrances to the head offices of Belfius and Proximus in Brussels.

    Workers’ rights organisations are concerned about the recently announced restructuring at the telecoms companies. Trade unions are critical of the sudden change in direction towards digitization taken by the telecoms companies. The move would make 1,900 workers redundant, only to hire a further 1,250. The union delegation was particularly numerous at the Proximus headquarters near the Gare du Nord. 

    The trade unions also set up picket lines outside other major companies in the capital, such as Audi Brussels in Forest and Viangro in Anderlecht. The same action is being taken outside the STIB (Brussels Public Transport) and SNCB (the Belgian Railway Company) buildings. While numerous, many picket lines are not barricades to those who want to work, as colleagues wishing to enter could access by other entrances.

    Everyone in Brussels can see that the city is not entirely at a standstill, but is taking this calmly, said Estelle Ceulemans, the General Secretary of the General Federation of Belgian Labour-Brussels.

    “Everyone is affected, as are workers in Wallonia and Flanders. It is time for those who have chosen to be deaf in recent years to finally sit up and listen to workers’ concerns,” said Ceulemans.

    Several Belgian services are operating at reduced capacity today due to a national strike called by private sector unions. This includes the cancellation of the majority of flights out of Brussels Airport and disruptions to train services within the country, as previously reported.


    Christopher Vincent

    The Brussels Times