The demonstration was against the 1996 wage standard legislation and what the unions perceive as a curtailing of trade union freedoms. The unions say that the wage standard law prevents wages form increasing correctly.
The demonstration was also used to protest against “the criminalisation” of trade union activities. One example given is the conviction of 17 trade unionists, including the leader of the leader of the socialist blue-collar union ABVV Thierry Bodson, after they had blocked a bridge on the E40 motorway in Liège 4 years ago.
The march got under way at around 11am from Brussels North Station. It was a noisy but otherwise peaceful demonstration.