Belgium: car workers refuse union compromise

Strikers at car firm SLM refused to vote on an agreement made by unions, judging the salary increase to be too low.

Submitted by jef costello on April 18, 2007

120 of the 200 striking workers at SLM, a Ford subcontractor in Gent, refused to participate in the vote.

Fellow strikers at another subcontractor, Lear Corporations, also found the agreement totally unsatisfactory and also refused to vote on the plan.

The strike began as a wildcat last Monday afternoon, with workers protesting against the large increases in work-rate at the plant. The strikes have also brought production at Ford's main plant to a halt.

The FGTB and CSC unions then attempted to negotiate a solution. Despite their inability to persuade workers to vote on, let alone for, the agreement CSC-metal has stated that they will put their efforts into getting workers to accept the plan, rather than returning to management with the workers' demands. The FGTB has refused to comment.