Ghent garbage collectors end strike and return to work

The strike at the Ghent inter-municipal waste company Ivago has come to an end, after a deal was struck late in the morning. Local residents are relieved, after three days of strike. The situation had become untenable, especially in the inner city centre where big bags of garbage were piling up at restaurants and hotels.  However, it's not the end of the story: unions warned that further negotiations are needed. 

Garbage collection workers downed tools last Monday, citing a "lack of recpect" from the management. The situation had escalated during the blistering hot days of last week and at the start of this week. "Work pressure is too high, especially during very hot weather", trades unions argued, demanding a tailor-made duty roster when temperatures exceed certain thresholds. 

This morning, it didn't look very good: it was said that workers would vote about a deal worked out between management and unions, but this didn't even happen. However, the stalemate was broken later in the morning, with all three unions announcing workers are picking up tools again.

Before the deal had been reached, Mayor Martine De Regge had signed a document to guarantee a minimum waste collection out of hygiene and public health concerns. But the big piles of waste, especially in the inner city, will now disappear. However, it's not the end of the issue: the deal is a temporary one, to solve the worst problems, as negotiations will have to continue in the coming days. 

Mayor Martine De Regge had signed a document to guarantee a minimum waste collection out of public health concerns

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