The Red Cross confirmed on Thursday at an extraordinary board meeting that almost 7,000 places in shelters for asylum seekers are to be closed in what the SETCa union calls “a humanitarian drama coupled with a social drama” that could cost 185 people their jobs. Of the 7,000 places, 2,854 are in collective centres and 3,600 with individual hosts.
Centres run by the Francophone Red Cross that stand to be closed are those at Arlon, Belgrade, Baraque Fraiture, Sainte Ode and Tournai, where some 190 workers will be affected. Of these, 185 have a clause in their contracts stating that the contract would end if the centre concerned is closed, SETCa Federal Secretary Christian Masai explained.
“[Secretary of State for Asylum] Theo Francken’s brutal decision, without any consultation, compounds a humanitarian drama with a social drama for the workers who lose their jobs,” the socialist trade unionist added. “It’s past time that they are no longer viewed as a simple technical adjustment value for responding to humanitarian situations that need to be confronted.”
“Naturally, SETCa joins the indignant reactions and urges the Prime Minister to have the decision and its consequences reconsidered,” Masai added. “We shall join in, and support any union, sectorial or civic action along those lines.”