Belgian banks, stores feel pinch of Brink's strike
Belgium's interior ministry on Friday announced new security measures to protect banks and supermarkets feeling the pinch of a 10-day-old strike by workers of funds transport company Brink's.
The ministry called on police to be "particularly vigilant" in guarding areas where cash is stored and to reinforce surveillance of stores and banks no longer able to send out cash from their premises for lack of security protection, the Belga press agency reported.
Some 500 Brink's employees in Belgium have been striking since October 27 against a change in their status and the closure of one office.
Big Brink's clients in Belgium include Total, supermarket chain Delhaize and the banks ING and BNP Parisbas Fortis.
Facing a liquidity crunch and with seven percent of its cash machines empty, BNP has called on its clients to use their bank cards for payment.
For its part, the Kinepolis cinema chain has urged movie-goers to reserve and pay for their tickets by Internet, a representative said.
Moreover, more than 1,700 seniors have yet to receive their latest pension payments normally delivered by the security firm.
© 2010 AFP