Major disruption to rail services as rail union issues strike notice for Saturday 27 July

The Belgian rail company NMBS warns of major disruption this coming Saturday as train guards that are members of a the Independent Rail Union (OVS) take part in a 24 hour strike. The rail company is working to draw up a reduced service timetable for Saturday. This should be available online by Friday afternoon. 

Talks to resolve the dispute that centres around staff shortages broke down on Tuesday morning. In a press statement released on Tuesday evening NMBS wrote "During the meeting with the OVS union today the reiterated that it will go flat out to recruit the planned 300 extra guards before the end of the year. Half of these have already been taken on and the remaining vacancies will be filled during the next few month”.

The rail company went on to say that "Despite very firm commitments and constructive dialogue with the various staff representatives the OVS union have decided to retain its strike notice. NMBS regrets this obstruction of dialogue and calls on train guards to revoke their intention to strike”.     

Saturday will be the second time that a minimum timetable will have been in force during a rail strike. Last summer a minimum timetable was in force during a 48 hour rail strike.