Three strikes on Belgium’s railways in 2018 cost National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB/NMBS) nearly €5.7 million, La Libre Belgique stated on Tuesday.
The strikes gave rise to a loss of revenue in unsold tickets for the SNCB estimated at nearly €5.7 million, according to figures given by the responsible minister, François Bellot (MR), in a written reply addressed to Tomas Roggeman (N-VA).
The first strike took place on February 26 and 27 (24 hours) and cost the rail operator €1.5 million. The second occurred on June 28 and 30 (two whole days) for a loss of nearly €2 million. The loss was nearly €2.2 million for the third strike, lasting two days, that took place from July 10 to 12.
The €5.7 million total is, if anything, on the low side for recent years. Under the previous government, Bellot had already communicated the total loss of revenue caused by the strikes. The amount rose to €14.8 million in 2016, €5 million in 2015 and €10.1 million in 2014.
It is premature, according to Bellot, to make an initial assessment of the minimum service instigated by the SNCB in 2018.