United trade unions rally against EU austerity measures
Belgium’s trade union federations will participate in a demonstration against EU austerity measures led by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in Brussels on 13 December, labour sources confirmed on Tuesday.
Several union sources told Belga that the FGTB, CSC, and CGSLB unions would join the demonstration as a common front. The ETUC has rebuked EU finance ministers for seeking to revert to stringent austerity rules. Workers require public investment in education, healthcare, fair wages and a sustainable future, the confederation said.
FGTB president Thierry Bodson said the outlook seemed grim, with potential austerity measures leading to reduced investment in public and social services and slower economic recovery. Unions are calling for a pan-European solidarity mechanism similar to measures implemented to offset the economic shock from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Union delegates from various European countries are expected in Brussels on 13 December, including significant contingents from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. Unions hope the procession will approach the European institutions in the capital.
Although the procession is not a strike action, disruptions in certain sectors and in Brussels, particularly public transport, should not be ruled out. Simultaneous actions are also planned in multiple member states.
FGTB president Thierry Bodson © BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT