Trade unions mobilise in Brussels against austerity

Demonstration Brussels 12 March 2024 FGTB

(13 March 2024) The Belgian Federation of General Labor (FGTB/ABVV) mobilised against austerity measures on Tuesday, 12 March, demanding freedom for collective bargaining and an end to social security system reductions. EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan joined the demo to support Belgian public service workers.

The speeches by the trade union leaders in front of the European Council denounced proposed economic governance rules. ETUC General Secretary Esther Lynch echoed the motto of the demonstration: “No way, we won’t pay!” She also added, “Hands off our wages, hands off our social security.”

If the new economic governance rules are adopted, Belgium will have to cut €30 billion in public spending - one of the biggest cuts among EU member states. This would result in a drastic increase in unemployment, lower wages, and undermined public services.

As the spectre of austerity haunts Europe, trade unions are intensifying their protests and demonstrations, pushing back against proposed measures. On 12 December, ETUC brought thousands together in Brussels against austerity measures. In Finland, unions have been striking against the Orpo government’s attacks on trade union rights and social security. French unions will mobilise on 19 March for a general pay rise and against the government’s plans not to replace workers retiring in public administration. Unions are alarmed by the austerity measures proposed by the government in the UK, including significant cuts to civil servant jobs and public services.

  • Demonstration no to austerity Brussels 12 March 2024 FGTB
  • Demonstration no to austerity Brussels 12 March 2024 FGTB
  • Demonstration no to austerity Brussels 12 March 2024 FGTB
  • Demonstration no to austerity Brussels 12 March 2024 FGTB
  • Demonstration no to austerity Brussels 12 March 2024 FGTB
Belgium