- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Police announce work-to-rule on Friday
Belgian police are planning a work-to-rule on Friday (12 October), with potentially longer queues at airport security and more roadside checks on vehicles.
Instead of going out on strike, police will spend the morning working slowly and thoroughly. Border guards will spend more time checking travellers' passports, for example, and lorry drivers will be pulled over to check what they are carrying.
All of Belgium's main police unions are taking part, in protest against short staffing - but also wider public-sector pension reforms and the retirement age for workers considered to be in physically tough jobs.
"The main issue is still the lack of staff," said CSC union rep Stéphane Deldique. He said the day of action aimed to "demonstrate to the public that with a lack of staff we cannot work effectively, efficiently and quickly".
Another issue is the extra work that the migration crisis has created, including poor working conditions for police at the new 127bis centre for transmigrants in Steenokkerzeel, near Brussels Airport.
Unions say the facility was opened too quickly, without adequate training for staff. "One morning there was a fire drill and it took us three minutes to open a cell door," SNPS union rep Mario Thys told Bruzz.
Drivers who are stopped for a random roadside check on Friday will be handed a leaflet outlining the police unions' complaints. Deldique added: "I think the public are on our side. All we want is to be invited to the negotiating table and to achieve results."