No rail strikes for a whole year: "Historic"

Rail strikes were plaguing Belgian commuters regularly between 2010 and 2016, but the tide seems to have turned over the past months. In fact, we haven't had any disruption since May last year, making it a whole year without industrial action. "Historic", Michel Bovy of Belgian Rail told De Standaard.

The years between 2010 and 2015 had 18 days of strikes on average each. A long strike hit commuters and travellers in May last year, but since then things improved. A strike which would last for a whole week was avoided last June, as a compromise was found for compensation days.

In fact, we've had a whole year without any strikes now. "This was a really long time ago", explains Michel Bovy, head of the HR department.

"We focused more on social dialogue. There are a lot of changes going on within Belgian Rail", says Bovy. "On the other hand, we had a major strike action last year in May. Maybe some have become tired of taking industrial action time and again." 

Luc Piens of the Christian trades union confirms that social dialogue has improved.