Employers back pact, unions inform workers
25 November 2005
BRUSSELS — In contrast to continued union unrest on Friday, employer associations have backed the federal government’s ‘generation pact’.
Despite objections to certain elements of the proposals, employers urged the government on Thursday to implement its social security and pension reforms as quickly as possible.
The Belgian association of employers, VBO, also called for industrial peace so that negotiations about the smooth introduction of the pact can be entered into.
However, unions remain disgruntled with the pact — primarily the move to lift the early “We demonstrated with 100,000 people on 28 October. Those people have the right to retirement age — and were staging an information day on Friday.know what the result is,” Socialist union ABVV boss Xavier Verboven said.
Short work stoppages took place across Belgium on Friday as unionists discussed what action to take after the three main federations rejected the generation pact on Tuesday.
Workers at the Volkswagen plant in Vorst went out on a 24-hour strike at 6am. However, the gates to the plant stayed open and no one was held back from working, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported.
Industrial action was also reported in the steel industry, where workers walked off the job at Cogebi in Beersel, which makes insulation cables. The plant’s production process was hindered as a result.
Elsewhere, there were no mass strikes, but unions will announce next Tuesday what actions will be carried out in protest against the government’s pension plans.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news