Police unions stage action at the Eurostar terminal
Members of the unions that represent the country’s police officers gathered at the Eurostar terminal at Brussels South Railway Station on Friday morning. They staged a protest as part of their ongoing dispute with the Federal Government.
The socialist public sector union ACOD says that since the unions issued their strike notice as neither the Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden (Flemish Christian democrat) nor the Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal) have made any concessions to their demands.
Futher action will follow in the coming days. On Monday morning members of the police unions will gather outside the Tihange nuclear power station in Liège Province and on Thursday 9 March there will be a work-to-rule action at Charleroi Airport in Hainaut Province. Customs officers might join next Thursday’s action at the airport that is also referred to as Brussels South. The unions warn that passengers can expect long queues at security and identity checkpoints.
The unions hope that their action will draw attention to serious staff shortages. ACOD says that at Charleroi Airport they are currently 30 officers short and by 2025 this could increase to a shortfall of 75 police officers if nothing is done.
In order to make a career in the police service more attractive the unions are demanding what the call a “real pay increase for the first time in 22 years” and measures that will allow those nearing the end of their career in the service to retire early.