“Differently and better, it’s possible,” stated the FGTB Central générale Thursday on the eve of a new day of national strike. Among its proposals is a minimum hourly wage of 14 euros. To recall, minimum wages in Belgium are determined by Conseil national du travail and set under collective labour conventions.
“The austerity policy of the government provides no favourable prospects. Its fiscal reform in no way improves the sharing of the burden. What it gives to the citizens is less than what it takes. The employment it creates is mainly in ill-paid jobs, part-time or temporary flexi-jobs which in no way solve the problems of employment. What the government obtains with such a policy is a budget deficit of 3 billion euros, which will once again be reached this summer,” stated the socialist union which is launching a campaign proposing its “solutions for escaping the economic crisis”.
Primarily among these is an hourly minimum wage of 14 euros, an amount “necessary to live with dignity”. “A similar increase was introduced in California with success. It is an example that should inspire us,” said Robert Vertenueil, Secretary General of Centrale générale.
In order to manage, “all income from large fortunes should be taxed in the same way as professional income. The government would thus have the impetus needed for investing in the economic fabric, which would allow it to create jobs. Real jobs: stable and full-time, which would generate social rights on their own,” proposed the socialist union, which also appeals for a strengthening of buying power.
Active in the sectors of construction, industry, services, and non-profit, Centrale générale has approximately 430,000 members.