Belgium's unions stage national strike against rising cost of living
BRUSSELS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Belgium's three largest trade unions took joint action on Wednesday to demand solutions to the purchasing power crisis and to the rising energy costs affecting citizens.
The three unions included the Socialist General Labor Federation (FGTB), the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (CSC) and the General Confederation of Liberal Trade Unions (CGSLB). Around 10,000 people took part in a "national day of action" here on Wednesday, according to the FGTB, calling on the government to freeze energy prices and redistribute the energy companies' excess profits.
The federal government announced measures last Friday to deal with the energy crisis. These included the extension of the social tariff for low-income families, but these measures "are not enough and will barely cover the month of November," CSC head Marc Leemans said.
Demonstrators denounced the precarious conditions in which many, in particular those less well-off, find themselves. They carried banners that read "Everything increases except wages," "Combat the rising cost of living".
The unions are threatening to organize another general strike on Nov. 9 "if solutions are not found quickly."