The management enlisted the services of private security guards to free up supplies. The guards that were bussed in from Germany were armed with truncheons, baseball bats and tear gas.
The 25 German security guards acted in a particularly aggressive fashion, but failed in their bid to free up three trucks with supplies. The local police had to be called in to rescue the guards from the hands of Belgian trades union activists.
Letters of apology have gone out to members of the workforce, the local mayor and several cabinet ministers.
The Belgian judicial authorities have opened an investigation into the events of the past week at Meister.