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Unions plan another train strike on 29 November
Three trade unions representing rail workers have issued a 24-hour formal strike notice for 29 November in a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions, reports RTBF.
The strike will run from Monday, 28 November at 22.00 to Tuesday, 29 November at 22.00.
Uunions said in a press release that they "disapprove of the lack of investment defined by the government at the end of the last budgetary meeting."
According to the unions (CGSP, CSC, SLFP), the government's decisions "do not make it possible to fully realise the ambitions in favour of the development and sustainability of rail." They believe that the amounts provided for by the government do not match the objectives of the service and performance contracts of SNCB and Infrabel.
The joint union force once again called for urgent measures "to put an end to the persistent deterioration in the working conditions of railway workers, mainly the lack of staff."
SNCB delays plans to increase train services
The continued strike action follows an announcement by SNCB a week ago that it will no longer be expanding its services in December. The third and final phase of the 2020-2023 transport plan was scheduled to be rolled out on 11 December.
It blamed the postponement on the difficult financial context, the network’s aging infrastructure, late deliveries of new equipment, an increased number of intrusions on tracks and a shortage of personnel.
SNCB director Sophie Dutordoir had indicated last month that the planned investments should be postponed after the federal government’s budget committee failed to meet all of the company’s financial requests.
Meanwhile, Infrabel has reported that the punctuality of trains has fallen to its lowest level since November 2018. The number of cancelled trains is also higher than last year.
Photo: Train strike on 5 October © Belga/Hatim Kaghat