The 48-hour rail strike is being closely monitored by the NMBS staff. “Not only are a large number of trains not running, many people in the workshops have also stopped working,” says chairman of ACOD Spoor, Günther Blauwens. ‘The dissatisfaction is clearly great.’
The action by the common trade union front (ACOD Spoor, ACV Transcom and ACLVB) started on Tuesday at 10 p.m. and will last until 10 p.m. on Thursday. The unions do not approve of the NMBS management’s plans to halve the start-up time of the train conductors to 10 minutes. ‘The staff shortages increase the workload. The staff is confronted every day with failing work tools and an unworkable railway structure. There is a greater need than ever for stability on the railways.’
Despite the minimal rail services, the strike is a clear signal, says Blauwens. ‘If production comes to a standstill in some workshops and there are a lot fewer trains running, management will feel it.’
A second 48-hour strike will follow in a month’s time, from Tuesday, December 5 to Thursday, December 7.