Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/902/22837

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 May 2016

Belgium: unions call national demos and general strikes

Bring down the government!

LSP/PSL (CWI, Belgium) reporters

Belgian trade unions have called new protests - including national demonstrations and a 24-hour general strike - after the right-wing government announced abolition of the 38-hour working week and attacks on public sector pensions, among other austerity measures.

A campaign of union protests will culminate in a general strike on 7 October, the second anniversary of the Thatcherite government.

Irresponsible

The propaganda of the government and its parrots in the corporate media accuse trade unions of being 'irresponsible' and 'representing nobody'. Yet opinion polls indicate that 75% among the Dutch speaking and 81% among the French speaking populations think that the trade unions are important to defend social reforms.

In the past decade the trade unions have won 200,000 new members bringing total membership to 3.5 million. This growth and bigger involvement is partly a result of the plan of action at the end of 2014 (when a national demo was followed by three regional strikes building up to a general strike on 15 December 2014). The active rank and file of unions has also grown.

At the same time the government has been weakened. It was unable to present itself as a government of 'national unity' following the terrorist attacks of 22 March.

The government not only attacks our living standards but also each other! The widespread discontent played a role in the resignation of two ministers - Jaqueline Galant from the federal government and Annemie Turtelboom from the Flemish government.

Christian-democrat minister Kris Peeters tried to present himself as the 'social face' in the right-wing government, but totally blew this cover when he said 'we all live above our means.' He is seen as the architect of abolishing the 38-hour working week. On a recent demonstration against this law by the ACV/CSC Christian trade union federation, Peeters was a central theme.

He says that there can be no negotiations if there are strikes. But there are no real negotiations, it is a one direction offensive by the bosses.

Bosses' like Karel Van Eetvelt from Unizo have compared the strikes with terrorist attacks. This is a scandal. Protest against the undermining of our living standards is a democratic right.

We cannot accept that our actions only lead to empty promises of negotiations followed by new attacks. This is what happened after the unions' plan of action in 2014.

If we let this government complete its term, we will only get more and harsher austerity measures. Our aim has to be the downfall of this government.

A movement to bring down the government and its austerity policies will inevitably lead to a discussion on a political alternative.

We think there is a huge potential for a political force from the workers' movement. There needs to be a broad initiative to regroup all those who oppose austerity policies: trade union activists, socialists, left activists and organisations, including the electorally growing PTB/PVDA.

The aim has to be a fundamental break with the neoliberal austerity policies and the building of a socialist alternative.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 May 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories attack: fight back

NHS staffing black hole

Bristol Green backs cuts

Stamp out sexist dress codes

University of Facebook

Blair bombshell

What we saw

Them & Us


PCS Conference 2016

PCS leads the way in fightback against Tories

"Where's Carwyn?" - museum workers demand action

BIS members strike to save jobs and keep offices open

Government defeated by check-off court challenge


The EU

The EU and the economy - Project Fear steps up

Vote to leave the 'Employers' Union' and fight the bosses' government


Socialist Party workplace news

Teachers: vote Yes to strike - defend pay and conditions

Higher education action over pay and casualisation

Junior doctors vote to work with and develop links with other unions

Unite housing workers walk out against intransigent bosses

Low paid Pennine Foods workers strike over cuts to premiums

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

On an upward trajectory: my experience as a new Socialist Party member

Newcastle: countering the fascist menace


International socialist news and analysis

France: New stage in battle over labour law

Belgium: unions call national demos and general strikes


Readers' comments and reviews

TV review: Occupied

Featured letter: stop the badger cull

Socialist postbag


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 May 2016   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Belgium:

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

triangle1987 Zeebrugge disaster

triangleInternational news in brief

triangleEU-Canada trade deal battle points to Corbyn's Brexit opportunity

Unions:

triangleAfter the budget - unions must launch pay fight

triangleChatsworth neuro-rehab ward still open - unions join the campaign

triangleUnions must fight workplace mental health crisis

triangleNSSN meeting brings together workers in struggle

Government:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

triangleMovement growing against fracking giant Ineos

Austerity:

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

triangleTUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

CWI:

triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The work of CWI members around the world

International

International

13/12/17

Israel

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

13/12/17

CWI

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

10/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

8/11/17

Sweden

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success

8/11/17

Spain

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

8/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2