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13 February national strike: Here's what to expect
A nationwide day of strike action on Wednesday (13 February), led by three main trade unions, will have a significant impact on flights, public transport, schools and other public services.
Belgian air traffic controller Skeyes has limited air traffic capacity to 50% during the strike for safety reasons. At Zaventem, 317 of the 569 scheduled flights have been cancelled - including every flight operated by Brussels Airlines. Charleroi airport will shut down completely on Wednesday, affecting 18,600 passengers.
Public transport in Brussels will be severely disrupted and passengers have been advised to make alternative travel arrangements or work from home. The Stib call centre (070 23 20 00) will be open from 6.00 and regular updates will be posted on stib.brussels and social media.
The Belgian rail operator expects about half of trains will not run. The 24-hour strike begins at 22.00 on Tuesday evening. A guaranteed minimum level of service is required by law. The SNCB says it has tried to limit the cancellations to off-peak services, meaning the majority of Intercity services should run in rush hours. Eurostar and Thalys should run a near-normal service.
In Wallonia, public transport disruption varies from one region to the next. The worst-affected area will be around Mons, where only one in 10 buses is expected to operate.
Flemish bus and tram drivers who show up for work on Wednesday will be assigned to a handful of "priority" routes. The full extent of the disruption will not be clear until the morning itself.
No official call for teachers to strike has been made, but walkouts are still likely at a local level. Municipal creches could also be affected.
Government offices, town halls and public hospitals will all be operating with just a skeleton staff on Wednesday. Road blocks and picket lines are likely at some industrial estates and out-of-town shopping centres. Carrefour, Delhaize, Aldi and Lidl stores will be closed. Bpost mail distribution will be disrupted, but the extent is not yet clear.