Belgium: Strikes across rail network

Last Thursday a wildcat strike by train drivers at the Belgian station of Termonde lead to the cancellation of many services, a spokesman for the railway claimed not to know what had triggered the unofficial action.

Submitted by jef costello on February 22, 2007

A strike by conductors in Wallonia on Monday paralysed most of the rail services in the south of the country. The conductors were protesting at unsafe working conditions after three conductors were assaulted in the space of a few days. They have accepted a return to work a commitment from the justice system to crack down on those using violence on the railways and a promise to increase cooperation between police districts. 1/4 trains ran between Charleroi and Brussels, the Namur to Brussels and Namur to Charleroi routes were mostly shut down for the entire day. The strike was very well observed, Louvière et Tamines stations ran a skeleton service, Jemelles and Arlon were very seriously affected with only one train leaving the latter station all day.

The SACT (Independent Conductors Union) has threatened a "zeal strike" across the entire country to begin Friday, by this they mean that conducteurs will no longer check tickets or attempt to act against those without them. This is in relation to staff bonuses. In votes conducted by the union conductors have shown themselves to be heavily in favour of a reform of the bonus system. If the "zeal strike" is ineffective the next step will probably be an official strike ballot.