The Flemish employer’s organization Voka gave the economic cost of the three strikes and national strike on Monday as 600 million euros. “This is disproportionate to the number of strikers”, says the delegate administrator Jo Libeer in a press release. The organization thinks the strike did not affect the private sector or small and medium businesses much, but it did affect public services and education.
The Unions “have changed tactics”. “During the 2012 strike, only 3% of companies were inaccessible as they were blocked off. Today it’s one in four. It’s unacceptable. We respect the right to strike, but there is a difference between this right and breaking the law. Blocking public access is a crime”.
The Voka network is also watching for the long-term effects of this movement. “This action has negative consequences on our image abroad. Attracting new companies, new clients and new investments will be more difficult for a long time”, says Jo Libeer.