From Belgium: the not-so-general strike
dinsdag 31 januari 2012 08:11
The general strike organized by Belgium’s three main unions yesterday was less general than the unions had predicted. In the small and medium sized companies people went to work as always and in the important chemical plants in Antwerp the production was not brought to a halt. Public transport however was affected: no trains, trams or buses. But the impact on air travel at Brussels airport was minor. We did not have the usual traffic jams during the morning rush hour because a lot of people worked from home or took a day off.
The strike was a message addressed to the government: don’t touch the indexation of the salaries and allow people to retire after 40 years of working in difficult conditions.
People seem to accept (reluctantly) that the austerity measures decided by the government in December are necessary.
Today, everything is back to normal with 200 kilometers of traffic jams on the road. It is freezing cold and the weather forecast announces a long period with low temperatures for the first time this winter. The daffodils in my garden were almost flowering.