Saturday, March 5, 2011

Belgium, under the threat of a massive strike on Friday

Brussels. (EFE) .- The day of "National Action" in Belgium, organized by two major unions against the reform of the "agreement" threatens to cripple the country, as it provides considerable support in the private sector and public transport. The day of protest has been called by the socialist central (FGTB) and liberal (CGSLB) without the support of the Christian trade union (CSC).

Although there is a general strike but a protest in which each union branch decides how manifest-through strikes or simple staff meetings, it is expected that its impact is broad. The action takes place on the occasion of the trade agreement 2011-2012 (which governs labor relations in most of the private sector), and rejected by the unions that have organized demonstrations to consider a "social regression." It is expected that the greater monitoring of the protests taking place in the francophone region of Wallonia, where the main core professionals have called a general strike, while in Flanders and Brussels on the impact of the movement is likely to be minor.

Although in principle the actions should have little impact on the public, is expected to be major disruptions in transportation, starting with the national railway company (SNCB). Urban transport will be very adversely affected by the mobilization, and public enterprises in this sector-TEC, De Lijn and STIB-have confirmed their participation in the protests, although there will be minimal services on buses, trams and metros of the country.

Equally be that the hospitals operate at idle, but will be guaranteed emergency services. As for the industrial sector, many of the large steel companies, chemical and technological located in Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders will be blocked and will also be organized barricades at the entrance to industrial zones.

Small businesses may be indirectly affected by these actions. The shopping centers close their doors and supermarkets across the country could be blocked by pickets, while not expected shares in the banks, which initially will be open. During the day various concentrations take place in Brussels, Arlon, Leuven and Ghent.

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