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De Lijn gives personnel €1.1 million in bonuses
De Lijn should be taking drastic measures to reduce costs, according to the new Flemish government, but is instead handing out a bonus of €140 to each of its 8,220 employees, for a total of more than €1.1 million. The public transport company had promised the one-time bonus to its staff if the number of accidents decreased.
The timing is unfortunate now that De Lijn has been instructed to cut down on costs. Free public transport for people over 65 has already been scrapped, for example. "But a promise is a promise," said union secretary Rita Couck of ACOD. "Too many accidents also cost businesses and the government a lot of money." The bonus was agreed upon last year as a way to reduce the number of accidents.
De Lijn confirms the payment: "The bonuses are currently being processed and in the coming days our staff will receive the agreed amount," said spokeswoman Astrid Hulhoven.