Flights and public transport disrupted in Belgium on Wednesday due to a national strike
The Belgian trade unions have called for a new day of national strike on Wednesday 9 November. As a result, public transport across the country, as well as flight schedules from Brussels Airport will be disrupted.
The unions are calling the strike to draw attention to the rising cost of living and the fact that workers’ wages are not being adjusted accordingly. “The situation is very serious for those who do not earn high salaries and yet cannot claim the social energy tariff. From single parents living on a single salary, to people who have to take jobs on the side, to pensioners, the sick and the disabled, the “social situation is downright worrying”, the Christian union AVC said in a statement.
The Brussels public transport operator STIB-MIVB has announced that due to the participation of some staff, disruptions are to be expected on the network. Passengers are advised to take all necessary precautions and seek alternative transport as much as possible on Wednesday in Brussels.
A spokesperson told the Brussels Times that they do not yet know which lines will be able to operate, but they expect few buses, trams and metros to be available. As usual, STIB will update its website and mobile application with all the information.
De Lijn, the public transport operator in Flanders, has informed that it will also be affected by the strike although “the action is not directed against De Lijn”, says a statement from the company. However, a large part of its staff will still participate and strong disruptions are expected throughout Flanders.
The exact impact cannot yet be assessed, but the operator confirmed that an adjusted schedule will be provided on Monday evening, depending on the number of employees ready to work on Wednesday.
TEC, Wallonia’s public transport operator, also expects disruption, although the impact is not yet known. It will post updates to its website and social media channels closer to Wednesday.
The national rail operator SNCB has announced that the impact of the strike will already be felt the evening before, from 10 p.m. on Tuesday November 8, and will last all day on Wednesday.
Brussels Airport Zaventem announced that it had already canceled or rescheduled 40% of the flights scheduled for Wednesday, but more could be affected due to the strike. Passengers will be contacted by their airlines, but those who can still travel are asked to bring hand luggage only, as baggage handlers are also expected to take part in the strike. The airport does not advise getting to the airport earlier than usual.
Brussels South Charleroi Airport, on the other hand, has not yet estimated the impact of the strike and has not announced any cancellations. “Access to the airport may be more difficult due to possible actions around it. It is also possible that the various airport services operate at a slower pace,” a statement read. airport also advises passengers to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before the gate closes.