According to HR Rail, the Christian union ACV Transcom did not participate, but the socialist union ACOD Spoor and the liberal union VSOA Spoor decided to strike again despite “new concrete concessions”. HR Rail says: “It is irresponsible and completely unacceptable in relation to train passengers.”
Yesterday, ACV Transcom requested the appointment of a social mediator to put social dialogue back on track on Belgian railways. Peter Vanderburgt, the union’s public sector director for railways, explained that the negotiations had completely stopped, and that there was essentially a “problem related to the quality of social dialogue.”
A 48-hour strike took place on the railways between 7 and 9 November, and even then there was talk of a second strike if sufficient progress was not made in negotiations.
These actions were due to dissatisfaction with the negotiations regarding internal reorganization. According to the trade unions ACOD Spoor, ACV Transcom and ACLVB, “the basic principles of social dialogue were not respected.” The unions do not accept, among other things, management’s plans to shorten the start-up time for train drivers. More generally, they demand “a halt to increasing productivity at the expense of railway workers.”
Five more negotiations have taken place in recent weeks, but according to ACV Transcom, these have not yielded sufficient results.
The goal, Vanderborght stresses, is “to reach a fundamentally good agreement that we can present and defend to our supporters.”
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