Rail strike on Friday: rail misery anticipated

Belgium's socialist public workers union, the ACOD, has announced strike next this Friday. The strike call affects rail workers in the Belgian and Flemish capital but because of the nature of the Belgian rail network, with most services being directed through Brussels, disruption could be extensive.

The rail workers are protesting against government plans. Michel Abdissi of the Francophone rail workers section of the socialist union: "The haemorrhaging of rail workers with life tenure must be avoided at any cost."

The Christian union is not supporting the strike but is preferring to warn the general public of the dangers of the modernisation plan.

The strike will run from 10PM on Thursday 8 October until 10PM on Friday 9 October. Problems could materialise as early as 9PM on Thursday.

The Belgian rail company NMBS is warning passengers to expect significant disruption on the network and is urging people not only to count on rail services. The NMBS will keep the travelling public up to date on its website and on Twitter.

The strike is also affecting Eurostar and Thalys services.

The socialist union has also threatened to take strike action on 19 and 20 October, but no official notifications have yet been given with regard to stoppage on these days.

Michel Abdissi: "We're opting for rotating strike actions with a day of strike action in one Flemish and one Walloon district on the same day, but not elsewhere."