Train drivers to strike on 28 May

The Autonomous Agency of Train Drivers ASTB is confirming an upcoming strike on 28 May. The Belgian National Railway Company and the HR-Rail board have tried to persuade the drivers otherwise, but to no avail. The agency wants a revision of the income scheme. The railway company has thus far refused this, and is strongly condemning the drivers' work-stop plans.

The labour agency claims that the railway company management "hears, sees and holds its tongue", and that it doesn't want to spend anything on the drivers, but is "paying excessive amounts of money for redundancies." ASTB is calling for a strike from 10PM on 27 May until 3AM on 29 May. Earlier, the agency threatened to lay down work each coming month if their demands are not met.

The national railway company on the other hand claims that an income raise as high as the agency is requesting isn't financially feasible. It would cost the company about 15 million euros a year, in times of economic recession. The company is calling on the drivers not to listen to the agency's call and to give debate another chance. If the strike goes through, grave disturbances of the rail net are likely.