Breakthrough in railway talks
Belgian Railways’ trade unions and management have reached a provisional agreement on a new pay and conditions package.28 April 2008
BELGIUM - The trades unions and management at Belgian Railways have reached a provisional agreement on a new pay and conditions package.
Although the agreement still has to receive the approval of the union rank and file, it seems unlikely that the 24-hour rail strike due to start at 10pm on Tuesday 29 April will go ahead.
A pay increase for the 38,000 employees of Belgian Railways formed the biggest stumbling block during the talks.
Management had proposed an across-the-board pay increase of EUR 250 per annum. The unions said that this was not enough.
An agreement on a pay increase was finally reached during talks on Friday.
However, both the management and trades unions at Belgian Railways are remaining tight-lipped about what is on offer.
Jos Digneffe of the socialist trades union told the VRT that "at first, management wanted to win with seven goals to one, but this is no longer the case".
The provisional agreement will be put before the union rank and file on Monday.
If they vote to back it, the planned rail strike will be called off.
The unions had said that their members would down tools from 10pm on Tuesday until 10pm on Wednesday if no agreement was reached.
[flandersenews.be / ANP / Expatica]
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