Labour Day protests in Brussels: ‘Weakest members of society most affected by pandemic’
Share article:
Share article:

Labour Day protests in Brussels: ‘Weakest members of society most affected by pandemic’

Credit: Belga

Trade unions and social, cultural, and political associations have taken to the streets on Labour Day to draw attention to the weakest members of society being affected by the pandemic.

Whilst fears are mounting over “La Boum 2” wreaking havoc on one end of the city, crowds gathered on the Place De Brouckère with a clear message: the pandemic and the measures taken by the government to combat it have mainly affected the weakest members of society.

“One year after the start of the pandemic, poverty has risen due to massive temporary unemployment”, the demonstrators, who argued large parts of the working class, young people, undocumented migrants, and women were most impacted, said.

Related News


The crowd demanded a higher minimum wage, pointing at the suggested wage increase on top of the index which is expected to be limited to 0.4% for 2021-2022, a collective reduction in working hours without loss of pay, and a minimum net pension of €1,500, among other things.

“Large parts of the working class and of the youth have no income, undocumented people are without means of subsistence. But while one economic sector is going under, others are doing better than ever, such as the pharmaceutical and logistics sectors and department stores,” they said.

Demonstrators also argued that too many employers in non-essential sectors, where these groups are mostly employed, were not respecting the safety measures.

In the first wave, people worked without masks and with a lack of disinfectants, but even today, in all too many sectors and companies, the patronage system still refuses to respect the safety measures for staff. Educators and students have never been given adequate resources for safe direct education, nor for the transition to distance learning,” the group argued.

Protesters added that the production and distribution of vaccines is another example of capitalist disorder, and that capitalism, in general, it is causing serious damage to people’s health.

“Competition between pharmaceutical groups, in the research and patenting of products and processes, substandard industrial production, totally unbalanced distribution on a global scale at the expense of the countries of the South. The whole sector continues to be characterised by profit, even though there are millions of deaths,” they said.

According to the demonstrators, patents on vaccines must be lifted: “They were largely developed with public money. In addition, everything must be done to ensure mass production and distribution on a global scale, including social control of the sector.”

Latest news

23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...
Pandora Papers: European Parliament describes UK and US as global hubs for money laundering and tax evasion
The European Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution taking the European Commission to task for not doing enough to combat money laundering, tax ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 29 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than 100 people hospitalised with coronavirus per day
More than 100 people are being hospitalised per day in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus, as the rise in new Covid-19 infections continues its ...
Digital well-being: being healthy in a hyperconnected world
There was hardly any doubt about the direction that digital innovation was moving in, but whilst the pandemic restricted human contact and slowed ...
Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...