Belgian train travel has ground to a halt since 10pm on Tuesday night due to a 24 hour strike by rail workers. The stoppage has come because of a fear that a government proposal to revamp and streamline the three companies who currently control the system would worsen their employment conditions.
Philippe Peers of the CGSP trade union said that “the action in Brussels has been a success with around 80 to 90 % of workers on strike. Controllers have also not gone to work so not even one train has moved in the Capital Region.”
The strike has also affected international transport with both Thalys and Eurostar connections to London and Paris severely disrupted. Commuter, Matthieu Regibout explained how the stoppage would affect him: “I heard about the strike six or seven days ago and as I work in a small non profit organisation I left my home quite early to arrive in Brussels on time. I will sleep in my office. We have to deal with it because every worker has a right to strike”.
Unions want the current rail system to be controlled by one company. They blame the numerous and lengthy delays in train transport on managerial disorganisation. Normal services are due to resume at 10pm.
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