On behalf of the European Transport Workers’ Federation, representing more than 5 million transport workers, we want to express our solidarity with the railway employees of Belgium and their legitimate and justified strike.
When the government’s unrealistic savings measures – 20% increase in productivity and the loss of 4,500 jobs – utterly disregard not only the quality of services offered to the passengers but as well working conditions of staff then unions are right to take action and make their voices heard. The fact that legitimate demands of railway Belgian workers on pay rise, appropriate recruitment, working time or equal pay for all railway workers to cope with these measures in terms of well-being at work, employment, and purchasing power have been refused by management is unacceptable.
The ETF supports the unions in their condemnation of the current situation created by the unrealistic demands and expectations of the government and management. Moreover, the railway infrastructure is key in facing our current climate crisis, and the government is compromising the safety and the quality of the railway service, which penalises both staff members and passengers, while they should be increasing resources and improving working conditions.
Railway workers should not be made to pay the price for these measures. We will closely follow the developments, and we wish today’s strike every success!
Fair working conditions and wellbeing at work are part of the fight led by ETF and its affiliates for a fair transport sector for workers. Together, we are stronger.