The Fédération générale du travail de Belgique (FGTB) union has decided to demand the retention of early retirement systems, including the possibility of retiring at the age of 58 years from companies under restructuring or from taxing jobs.
The decision came at a Saturday meeting of the various sections of the FGTB, at which the socialist federation discussed the state of play at negotiations held within the framework of the Interprofessional Agreement, AIP.
The FGTB, known in English as the General Labour Federation of Belgium, feels that if the elements now on the table become the final agreement, that would create a “flagrant imbalance” to the detriment of the workers.
In addition to early retirement, the FGTB wants a “substantial” minimum wage increase, starting in 2022. It also wants end-of-career employment maintained at four-fifths of the time from age 55 and access to half-time employment, also from the age of 55.
“In the current state of negotiations, these priorities are not being given sufficient consideration,” the federation argued. It said it wished to pursue the discussions because it “resolutely wants a balanced agreement that improves working conditions.”
“However, should the imbalance persist at the end of the next G10 session,” the FGTB said, it “could decide to launch interprofessional and sectorial actions as had been announced.”
The G10 is a group of representatives for both businesses and employees.
The federation also said it “categorically” refused the 0.4% wage standard, “even if accompanied by a possible net allowance.”
“We are expecting the Government not to take any initiative in the area of wages unless progress is made on our three priorities,” the federation stressed. “In any event, it cannot impose a straight-jacket on wage incomes alone while giving free rein to capital income.”