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48-hour Belgian rail strike begins this evening

06:48 05/12/2023

A 48-hour rail strike is planned across Belgium from Tuesday, beginning at 22.00 this evening and ending at the same time on Thursday 7 December.

“Despite the strong signal sent out during the strike on 7 and 8 November, management continues to ignore the voice of railway workers,” unions said in a joint statement.

The unions claimed that a lack of proper consultation ahead of recent organisational changes was evidence of a lack of respect for workers.

There was some disagreement among unions as to which would participate, with the third largest union, CSC Transcom, rejecting the strike call and denouncing the action as “totally irresponsible and unacceptable to passengers”.

But participating unions say a strike is needed to emphasise their call for a halt to current increases in productivity, as such increases are being done “to the detriment of railway workers”.

They say the reorganisation of timetables is “disconnected from the reality on the ground and comes with no added value in operational terms”.

A minimum level of service will be in place during the strike. Three out of five Intercity (IC) trains are expected to run and two out of five suburban (S) trains.

No rush-hour reinforcement trains - P trains - will operate during the 48-hour strike.

Written by Helen Lyons