Unions call on ports of Antwerp and Ghent to strike

An appeal has been made by Belgian trade unions to all members to stop work for 24 hours at the ports of Antwerp and Ghent on Wednesday 9 November. According to the unions, some 14,000 dockworkers will heed the call. The message from unions ABVV-BTB, ACLVB and ACV-Transcom is to stay at home. In Belgium, 9 November is a general day of action and strike day, to stand up for better wages, lower energy prices and an end to indexation of wages. Not only will there be a strike at the ports, but public transport will also be shut down and no mail will be delivered.

On 3 November, the call to strike in the ports was sent to all 14,000 members, told Kurt Callaerts of the ACV-Transcom union. The lede has been asked to stop work for 24 hours from Wednesday 9 November 06:00. Callaerts therefore expects that this call will be widely heeded, partly because of the recent quashing of regulations on port labour. No negotiations are currently ongoing between the unions and employers in the port; those talks will only take place next year. The aim of the strike is to review the wage norm law and get a serious raise in wages.