Belgium general strike

Yesterday there was a 24 hour general strike in Belgium by public sector workers.

Submitted by working class … on December 23, 2011

Public sector workers in Belgium are experiencing very similar attacks on their pensions that British public sector workers are facing.

Yesterday, public sector workers staged a huge twenty four hour strike. Not only did schools, hospitals, and local government services close, but the entire national transport infrastructure was crippled, buses, trains, trams and ports, all experienced serious disruption.

A government official stated, “Reforms are long overdue, and they are key to overcoming intergenerational conflict and absolutely necessary to the re-establishment of health public finances”.

Just like the British government, the Belgian ruling elite are ‘creaming’ themselves as the have been offered the banking collapse as the perfect smokescreen to push through their attacks on working people.

Another similarity with the UK situation is the farcical negotiations that the government has embarked on with unions, negotiation in name only, as the decisions have already been made.

The ABVV trade union said that workers "are striking against the government retirement measures because they are being imposed on us in the absence of any kind of social negotiations."

The current socialist government is also playing the same divide and conquer game that the Conservatives are. They pit worker against worker by constantly making reference to the disparity between private and public sector pension provision.



12 years 6 months ago

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Submitted by badadas on January 6, 2012

A second strike is put forward for the 30 of january. A good report about it you can find at so
An important political question is the trade-unions wich are historically very much tied to social-democracy and the catholic partys. It came out a few days ago that there would have been talks with the trade-union leadership before this pension reform was anounced by Vincent Van Quickenborne. And in the meetings with the rank-and file, the argument was used by the trade-union bureaucracy that they didn't had the time to prepare the mobilisation of the strike properly! The strike was just a few days after the measure was proposed, because they proposed it very quickly, and in 2005 there was a general strike against an earlier pension reform. Some ideas: In belgium 73 % of the people are member of a trade-union. Historically they have been very strongly incorporated, you could speak about neo-corporatism. Probably they'll try to attack the index mechanism later on, wich means that our wages are tied to inflation and the rising cost of living. This has been undermined since decennia's but they always get comments about the EU etc. that they should abolish the index tout court.

anyway, i'll try writing something for the 30th.