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Friday's national demonstration to cause disruption in Brussels
The General Labour Federation of Belgium (FGTB) is organising a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday as part of its continuing opposition against the 1996 wage margin law. Major traffic and public transport disruptions in the capital are expected.
The FGTB, which announced its intention to stage the demonstration at the start of July, demands an in-depth revision of the law which it says blocks any significant increase in wages.
The federation claims the law, which was introduced to preserve the competitiveness of Belgian companies, does not apply to dividends and allows companies to pay out billions of euros to their shareholders while employees’ wages remain capped. The FGTB says the law is "totally removed from the socio-economic reality where wages sustain the population, the economy, social security, and public services".
The Confederation of Christian Trade Unions, the largest of Belgium's three trade union federations, will also be demonstrating against the law in Liège.
The FGTB event will start at 11.00 from Brussels-North station and will reach the Gare du Midi via Boulevard du Jardin Botanique, Boulevard Pacheco, Brussels Central, Rue des Alexiens and Boulevard Lemonnier. Federation president Thierry Bodson and Secretary General Miranda Ulens will then deliver speeches at the march’s conclusion.
The FGTB announced that the wearing of face masks will be mandatory during the demonstration.
Traffic in central Brussels will be severely affected, especially along and around the route of the march. Many roads will be closed, and diversions will be in operation.
Public transport operators in the city have announced that passengers will experience disruptions to the normal service on buses, trams and the metro.