D-Day looms over federal pension reforms
18 November 2005, BRUSSELS — Tense talks were held on Friday as the federal government informed unions and employers about several minor amendments to disputed 'generation pact'.
18 November 2005
BRUSSELS — Tense talks were held on Friday as the federal government informed unions and employers about several minor amendments to disputed 'generation pact'.
Despite pointing out that some progress had been made, unions said they were still opposed to several other areas of the government's unpopular pension reforms aimed at boost older worker retention rates.
According to employers, the talks were tense. However, both employer associations and unions will present the amendments to their members next week.
The talks took place after the inner Cabinet reached agreement over the amendments on Friday morning following recent nation-wide industrial unrest.
Positive elements of the amendments for unions were the changes to early retirement for workers in the metal sector, with chances of taking an early pension disappearing less quickly then initially proposed.
However, unions remain opposed to government plans regarding workers on early retirement schemes in times of company restructuring.
A workgroup will examine further the career longevity pre-conditions workers must meet before they can take early retirement, newspaper 'De Tijd' reported.
Christian union chief Luc Cortebeeck said progress had been made, but it remained uncertain whether it was enough. Socialist union ABVV chief Xavier Verboven said it would not be an easy debate next week.
Employers remained tightlipped about the talks on Friday, sticking by a statement from employer association VBO chief Jean-Claude Daoust that the talks were difficult and tense.
In what looms as the culmination of recent industrial unrest, employer associations will present the amendments to members on Thursday, while unions will do so on Tuesday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news