New national rail strike announced for Saturday 17 August

The independent rail union OVS has announced it plans to stage a new strike. The management reacted immediately by setting up a new meeting to reconcile both parties.

The OVS highlights a lingering problem, a staff shortage as a result of which employees can't take up their annual leave properly. Barbara Kielbaev of HR Rail said a meeting with the OVS has been planned on 13 August in order to avoid the strike. She claims everything is being done to ease the situation, as the procedure to attract 300 new train guards is underway now. 

If the strike goes ahead, it will take place during the Pukkelpop music festival. However, a strike does not necessarily mean no trains. Just like last time, on 27 July, train guards will have to say beforehand whether or not they take part in the strike. Afterwards, a skeleton roster will be worked out to have at least some services running. Last time, this resulted in 60 percent of the trains going.