Betty Matthysen

24-hour rail strike on Thursday 19 December

Two of the union’s that represent staff that work for the Belgian rail company NMBS have called a 24-hour rail strike for Thursday 19 December. Negations to avert the strike broke down on Thursday. The Socialist Trade Union (ACOD Spoor) and the Liberal Trade Union VSOA Spoor are not satisfied with what NMBS is proposing as a pay and conditions package for the next two years. 

Both unions are demanding an annual 1.1% pay increase in the period between 2020 and 2022 and the recruitment of additional permanent staff.

Furthermore, the unions want a reduction in the pay differentials between blue collar rail workers and white collar rail staff and the maintenance a 36-hour week. However, the rail company intends to introduce a 38-hour week, something that is rejected by the liberal and socialist trades unions.  

As things stand the Christian Trades Union ACV Trascom has not said whether it will join the strike. The strike will start at 10pm on Wednesday 18 December and last until 10pm on the evening of Thursday 19 December.