Belgium rail workers begin strike this evening

19 May 2008

Belgium railway services, including the Eurostar, are due to be cancelled after four rail unions have called a 24-hour strike starting tonight (19 May) at 20:00 GMT and ending tomorrow night.

 

The strike will mean that all train travel within Belgium will halt and all Eurostar services into Brussels are to be cancelled. It is believed that the action may also affect high-speed services into Paris and Amsterdam.

 

The strike has been called after the unions rejected a two-year pay deal and benefits package which aimed to increase productivity despite it having increased by 32 percent between 2002 and 2006. The package offered increased pay in return for curbs on compensation days and part-time work. The unions claim that the average deal only offered a 2 percent rise in wages and no extra pay for weekend and night shifts.

 

French unions are also expected to take action prior to the Bank Holiday in a 36 hour stoppage.

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