Train strike next Wednesday confirmed, as ACV joins up

Summary

Both the country’s trains and Brussels’ MIVB public transport will face severe disruption next Wednesday due to strikes, and passengers are advised to make other transport plans for the day

Brussels transport to join in

Rail services across the country are expected to be severely disrupted next Wednesday, 22 April, as the socialist trade union ACOD Spoor has called a one-day strike. The action also has the backing of the Christian union ACV, though the union has not explicitly called its members out.

The strike, which will begin on 22.00 on Tuesday and end at 22.00 on Wednesday, is the latest protest against government austerity measures, particularly the decision not to apply the traditional annual indexation to salaries. This will mean a €30 million loss to rail authority staff, according to the unions.

Other contentious issues, such as retirement age for government employees and a proposal to oblige rail workers to provide a minimum service during strike actions, are due to come to the table soon.

The strike was called last month by ACOD. ACV would have preferred to stay at the negotiating table but said they had no option but to support the strike. ACV members are not being called out, but anyone who strikes “spontaneously” will be represented by the union, it said.

In Brussels, a joint union front representing MIVB public transport workers called on its members to join in with the strike on Wednesday. Pickets will be set up at all depots, but anyone wishing to work will be able to do so, the unions said. The exact extent of the disruption will be better known at the beginning of next week, said MIVB. 

MIVB

As the largest urban public transportation authority in Belgium, MIVB operates the metro, tram and bus system in the Brussels-Capital Region as well as 11 other municipalities on the outskirts of the city.
History - MIVB was launched in 1954, when the Belgian state, the province of Brabant and 21 Brussels districts joined “Les tramways Bruxellois” (The Brussels trams), dubbing the new venture the “Maatschappij voor het Intercommunaal Vervoer te Brussel” (Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company).
Award - In 2011, the European Foundation for Quality Management awarded the company its “Recognised for Excellence 4 Star” label, which rewards companies for good management approaches.
Innovations - The MIVB has introduced significant changes in recent years – such as entrance gates in the metro to discourage fare dodgers, a Noctis line of night buses, new metro stops in the outer reaches of Brussels and a complete overhaul of its existing metro lines.
18

tram lines

242

surface area covered by MIVB in square kilometres

2

stops across the Brussels-Capital Region and in de Rand, or belt, around Brussels