Belgian news in brief, 7 December 2005

7th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

Retail sector 'blackmailed' in strike

Retail sector 'blackmailed' in strike

Department stores say they feel they are being held for ransom by unions on the eve of a 24-hour strike in the retail sector on Thursday. Strike action will occur at outlets of Carrefour, Delhaize, Makro, Colruyt, Aldi, Lidl, Hema, Brico, H&M and Blokker as unions protest against the federal government's 'generation pact'. Strikers might block entry to staff and shoppers. The federation of retailers Fedis said the sector was being blackmailed to support union demands.

Most nickel, chromium in Genk-Zuid

The highest concentrations of nickel and chromium in Flanders are found above the industrial terrain Genk-Zuid in Limburg, the Flemish Environment Society said on Wednesday. Nickel and chromium are cancer-causing materials. Nickel emissions doubled in 2004 compared with 2003, but a local steel company has denied it is responsible for the increase.

Belgian nationals Europe's richest

Belgian nationals have overtaken the Swiss as Europe's richest, according to a study by research bureau GfK Worldwide. Some 31 percent of Belgians claim to have more than EUR 50,000 in wealth (not including real estate). The Western European average is just 13 percent.

Workers dissatisfied with rewards

Less than half of workers in Belgium are satisfied with the rewards of the job, a study by Vlerick Management School en jobs board Jobat has found. However, rewards go much further than wages and include a company car, bonuses or chances of promotion. Just 38 percent of labourers and 47 percent of office workers are satisfied, compared with 57 percent of mangers and 71 percent of company board members.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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