The three major Belgian allies called for a general strike on Wednesday. The airspace is closed and many state bodies are idle.
Closed airspace, interrupted transportation, pipelines all over the country: Belgium was idle on Wednesday due to a general strike on the call of the main unions for better salaries. Two union workers were slightly wounded when a car pitted in Ghent, AFP reported. The driver is stopped.
Public administration, transport, mail, schools, hospitals, waste collection, but also businesses and shopping malls are affected by the strike. "The movement is tracked well everywhere and in all sectors," assured CSC Secretary-General Marie-Ellen Sky of the Bel-RTL Radio.
"Workers say they need respect that they strive to live with dignity and not just to survive," she added. "Trade unions and employers have to return to the negotiating table, and the strike does not solve anything," Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said in a statement, "to thank everyone who works today."
The strike seriously disturbed the country's public transport on Wednesday morning, especially in Brussels, where many lines were stagnant. The Belgian National Railway Company (SNCB) has announced the revocation or modification of several trains, but around half of them operate thanks to the introduction of a minimum service.
Closed Belgian airspace
International traffic was relatively intact, as did road traffic, which was quite liquid despite several filter dams. The Belgian airspace is closed. Traffic Control Company, Skeyes, said on Tuesday it would not allow any flights to leave or arrive in the country, as it can not certainly determine the employees who will be coming to work.
No aircraft flying below 8000 meters above sea level, that is, in the area controlled by Skeyes, is not allowed to fly over the country. Beyond 8,000 meters, this is another center in Maastricht (the Netherlands), which controls the planes flying over Belgian territory.
Government, military and emergency flights are permitted.
The decision will break the meeting of defense ministers of the 29 NATO member states on Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels, according to the Alliance, as some ministers may miss the start of the meeting. "Even if the terminal remains open, we ask all passengers not to go to the airport," said Brussels-Zaventem Airport, the largest in Belgium.
Charleroi Airport, the second in the country operated by the Irish airline Ryanair, is closed to it. Belgian company Brussels Airlines announced last week the cancellation of all 222 flights scheduled for Wednesday.
On the other hand, the German TUI fly decided to insure its regular flights to and from Brussels, but from the nearest French and Dutch airports.
According to the Belgian agency, several pickeys have been created in the country, such as the port of Ghent (north), Eupen (east) or the industrial zones of Limburg (east).
In metallurgical and textile companies, the percentage of participation is "never seen," said William Van Erdegehem, president of the Christian Union, CSC Metea, saying that 600 companies are affected.
This call for strike by the three major alliances in the country – FGTB (Socialist), CSC (Christian) and CGSLB (Liberal) – affects all sectors, both public and private, across the country. ,
They require higher salaries, higher benefits and pensions, and better career-ending conditions.
The last general strike in Belgium dates back to December 2014.
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