Third day of strike at Sibelga: part of downtown Brussels was blocked

At the end of a day of discussions with representatives of Synergrid, the Belgian federation of electricity and gas network operators, and the management of Sibelga, the Brussels agents decided during a general meeting held at the end of day to continue their strike action until Monday inclusive, indicated Olivier Renard, president of the Gazelco delegation at Sibelga.

This Friday, they blocked part of the city center of Brussels, near the Mont des Arts. A procession framed by the police is heading towards the headquarters of Synergrid (the federation of electricity and gas network operators). Many Brussels residents were worried about the noise and the traffic jams caused by the procession, and contacted us via the orange Alert us button to find out what was going on.

A delegation was received and presented the workers’ demands, which were not deemed unreasonable, according to Olivier Renard. The agreement proposed by the management of Sibelga contained an alignment with the scales practiced by the Walloon operator Ores from October. It was rejected by the workers on the grounds that it overlooked the compensation requested for the availability of agents, hired after 2002, who perform Sunday duty but who are not called. “We have the impression that the management is trying to break the solidarity of the group, because the scales concern everyone and the hotlines only a part of the workers“, reports Olivier Renard. “The agents decided to stick together and refused to separate the two subjects“. The memorandum of understanding was accordingly rejected.

The picket in front of Sibelga’s entrance to the Quai des Usines will be kept in place over the weekend by workers, who will return in numbers on Monday. The unions say they are willing to try to settle the remaining disagreement before new director Inne Mertens welcomes them on Tuesday.

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