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Post office threatens November strike

Published on 21/10/2004

21 October 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgian post office workers are threatening to strike on 10 November to protest about working conditions.

Talks are still blocked between unions and management over a deal  between the two sides that should have seen the working week for postal empoyees reduced from 38 to 36 hours at the beginning of next year.

But management now says that economic constraints make the application of this measure in January 2005 impossible.

The unions have asked for special measures to compensate but said yesterday that the proposals on the table did not “meet the spirit or the letter of the agreements.”

Two other contentious issues are also causing problems.

Firstly the classification of jobs and the pay categories associated with these.

Secondly, the issue of absenteeism is causing friction, with the management saying it wants to clamp down on the practice.

The situation is worse in Wallonia than in Flanders and the management has plans to lay off workers who are absent for over a year on the grounds of “physical inaptitude.”

At the same time the company would remunerate those who are “genuinely ill”.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news