Expatica news

Garbage collectors on strike

12 October 2007

BRUSSELS – This morning less than half the locations of Sita, the waste disposal company, were on strike, according to spokeswoman Katrien Denef. On Friday afternoon negotiations between management and trade unions will be resumed in Brussels, under the guidance of a mediator.

Management and unions were caught up in negotiations until midnight on Thursday but were unable to come to an agreement. “The management is definitely open to a constructive social dialogue, but feels that here is pressure to strike at many locations” says Denef. The representatives of the unions admit to this and say there is great solidarity at the various locations.

This is evident from the union flags flying at several locations, but less than half of the locations in Flanders and Brussels are on strike, according to the management. According to the unions, 50 percent is on strike.

In West-Flanders the hindrance from the strike is limited after all. “The effects can mainly be felt in Antwerp. We are constantly negotiating to get trucks on the streets and to find a way to solve the garbage collection problem” says Denef. Several locations in Limburg and Brussels are also on strike.

The conflict is particularly a question of the relationship with the management, but also has to do with job classifications, bonuses that are not approved or paid, problems with interim contracts, and safety and training, says Jan Dereymaeker of the union general representatives. At about 10.30 a.m. there is a personnel meeting at the Neder-Over-Heembeek location, at which personeel can express their views on the negotiations and the further course of the strike.

Sita emphasises that it is doing everything within its power to find a solution for the 30,000 affected customers in Flanders and Brussels.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news