Rail union announces three-day strike
Socialist trade union ACOD Spoor will strike for three days at the end of January. It follows a 48-hour strike in November and further action in December.
ACOD Spoor has submitted a new action notice that would take effect from Monday 29 January at 22.00 until Thursday 1 February at 22.00. The union has criticised the national railway company SNCB for its decision to implement plans to increase efficiency without consultation.
Rail operator SNCB denies that there has been insufficient recruitment of staff. "A record number of recruitments were made in 2023 to strengthen operational activities," it said.
Additionally, ACOD Spoor is critical of the removal of 44 ticket counters, plans to reduce the number of employees in stations by 244 and the use of contractual instead of statutory employees. At both SNCB and infrastructure manager Infrabel, staff are owed "tens of thousands of compensation and rest days" while the workload is increasing, it said.
ACOD Spoor chair Pierre Lejeune said the union remained open to social dialogue with the managements of HR Rail, the legal employer of rail staff, NMBS and Infrabel. No concrete consultation is planned for the time being, but according to general secretary Günther Blauwens, the railway companies still have "ample time" to avert the strike.
© BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS