Thousands of protesters rallied against rising inflation and called for higher wages in several European cities on Friday. Backed by several unions, crowds of people marched in Brussels, London and across Italy and France.
Over 15,000 demonstrators braved the bitter cold in Brussels on Friday to call for more measures to shield them from high energy prices and better pay to counter runaway inflation.
The protests, backed by the three main unions, disrupted public services throughout Belgium, especially rail and subway systems in and around the capital as well as Brussels international airport.
With people increasingly under pressure from high prices, the unions demanded pay increases at a time when companies such as energy giants are making massive profits. They're asking for a freeze in energy prices and increased taxation on capital.
“We won't stop unless workers get what they deserve,” the unions said in a statement.
Meanwhile, demonstrators in several cities across Italy took to the streets after two of the country's largest unions, CGIL and UIL, staged a one-day walkout.
They protested the government's 2023 General Budget, which, they say, does not account for the loss of purchasing power due to inflation.
In London, the job satisfaction of the railway workers, who have begun another 48 hours of industrial action, has long since been derailed.
Backed by the RMT union, this is the sector's second two-day strike so far this week and it looks like it will not be the last of this year.
In France, train controllers, who are threatening to strike during the Christmas and New Year's holidays, have until Monday to respond to a proposed wage increase from management.