Belgium/France: 10 October 2017 – Strike in Public Services

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Like their French comrades, the Belgian civil service employees were on strike on Tuesday 10th of October to fight against the destruction of our collective heritage: public services.

By Céline Moreau et Alexandre Govaerts (FGTB)

Over the last three years, the ultra-right Michel government has considerably deteriorated public services. The future of service to the population is seriously threatened by a lack of investment and a deliberate desire to undermine public services.

Budgetary restrictions jeopardizing the security, quality and sustainability of the service, threats of privatization, refusal to acknowledge the hardship of many public jobs, willingness to hire temporary workers in the public service, introduction of a "minimum service" that undermines the right to strike...

Whether it is in terms of material, hiring of personnel, working conditions and remuneration of the agents or respect for their trade union freedoms, the balance sheet of the right is disastrous!

No other choice
Faced with this situation and the social and economic threats of austerity, public service employees can only mobilize. And for that, they use their ultimate weapon: the strike!
A strike carried out by those who, on a daily basis, render services to the public: workers in the medical, educational, public transport, childcare, postal services, emergency and security services, justice, postal services, culture, nursing homes, etc., to name but a few.

But this October 10 strike day was not limited to the public sector, unionists were joined by many comrades from the private sector. A strike necessary to defend a maximum service, a public services of quality and accessible to all citizens, good working conditions for the agents.

Europe: public services to be privatized... In France: same day, same strike!

Abolishment of 120,000 jobs by 2022, salary freeze, restoration of the day of default, questioning their status... In France too, public services are threatened. The Common Union Front of the Public Service therefore called for a strike day on October 10.

From care workers to teachers, from ministries to communities, the 5.4 million public service agents were mobilizing on Tuesday October 10 to protest against unacceptable measures taken by the Macron’s government, at the call of all their unions, a first in ten years.

Alter Summit activists were present in Brussels to send a message to French comrades. Recalling that the consequences of European austerity affect all employees in all countries and that it is high time to unite and fight together!