samedi 12 mars 2011

Belgium - National day of action / strike

The socialist and liberal syndicates called for a national day of action/strike on the 4th of March against the new interprofesional agreement. This agreements are made every two year between syndicates and bosses; stipulating the possible rise of the wages, the dole money, the social benefits etc. In this way, both partners try to limit in advance the possible revendications during conflits on the work place; syndicates engage themselves to respect the agreements taken on beforehand. Now, two syndicats refuse the terms of this new agreement. Government said they would not change a letter to this agreement (legally the State can also just impose it).

A small and incomplete overview of this day.

- All big industry like metal on strike.
- Almost all industrial zones blocked by striking pickets.
- The rails of the international train station were blocked by blockades.
- Blockades of the concrete producing factories, which forced all big construction sites to stop activities
- Masked strikers entered and destroyed a part of the interior of the Forem (state organ which follows and controls unemployed) and the offices in the Financial Tower.
- Masked strikers "plundered" a supermarket (taking mostly beer...)
- The entrances of the big banks were blocked by pickets.
- The biggest commercial centre was invaded by strikers who forced all shops to close.

- All industrial zones blocked by striking pickets.
- Several blockades of the entrances of the highways
- Entrances of commercial centres blocked by strikers.

- Blockings of industrial zones
- The entrance to the nuclear power plant was blocked by a striking picket

- Almost all economic activity paralysed by either strikes or pickets
- Entrances of a highway blocked
- Supermarkets blocked by strikers in Nivelles and Tubize

- Syndicalist manifestation in the centre, symbolic blockade of the National Bank.
- "Filter blockades" on several highways entering the city
- Some supermarkets and shops on strike
- Some heavy industry (like the car producing factories) on strike

- The big port of Antwerp was paralysed by blockades on the four entrance ways to the port, forcing big part of the economic activity to a halt.
- Strikers went on the central commercial street and "forced" the shops to close.

- Syndicalist manifestation in the city centre of Ghent
- Some industries and companies on strike

- Small syndicalist demo in the city centre of Leuven

For the rest, there were on some places in Flandres some picketing lines, but not at all as massively as in the southern part of Belgium.

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