Drivers at De Lijn walk out in Antwerp

The first day back at school has been marred by strike action at the Flemish local transport company up in Antwerp.  Drivers walked out triggering disruption on many of the port city’s bus lines.

The lion’s share of Antwerp city buses operated by De Lijn have returned to their bus station.  The action is not affecting tram or regional bus services. Trades unions at De Lijn had planned a minor protest against changes to duty rosters due to a diversion.  “Drivers on one particular line wanted to protest, but the transport company made it clear striking drivers would be sanctioned. This is an infringement of the right to strike” Jo Van der Herten of the Christian union said.  “Many drivers on other lines joined the protest out of solidarity.”

The disruption means many schoolchildren won’t be able to get home by bus today.  Talks between unions and management are only planned for Wednesday. “We had been seeking a solution for months now.  This should not have exploded.  De Lijn brought it upon itself” said Mr Van der Herten.

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