Tens of thousands head to Brussels to protest against social dumping
A national demonstration against social dumping and attacks on the right to strike is taking place in Brussels today. According to unions, between 10,000 and 15,000 participants are expected in the Belgian capital.
The social conflict at supermarket chain Delhaize is the immediate cause of the national demonstration organised by Belgium's three largest unions, ACV, ABVV and ACLVB. The chain wants to privatise all its stores, but the unions fear this will lead to worse pay and working conditions for thousands of workers.
The unions speak of social dumping and want to prevent this model from spreading to other sectors. They also denounce the attacks on the right to strike during the Delhaize dispute. Bailiffs and the police were called in to break up the strike, which the unions say affects the right to collective action.
The action, which starts at 11.00, will also affect the services of Flemish public transport company De Lijn, as its employees will take part. De Lijn will provide an adapted service.
Brussels' public transport system, STIB, will also face significant disruption, with only metro line 1 in operation and some bus and tram lines busy. Supermarket staff are expected to take part in the demonstration and some stores may be affected, especially Delhaize.