Belgian unionists call for wage hike in light of inflation
Belgian unionists are taking to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the living situation in their country in light of surging costs of living for the working class.
Hundreds of unionists rallied outside the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium on Friday to demand pay raises amid rampant inflation in the country, which has been hiking household costs upward.
The three largest Belgian confederations of trade unions called for protests in Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent in the lead-up to a nationwide demonstration scheduled for June 20.
Protesters pulled empty shopping carts, space heaters, and gas canisters to the entrance to symbolize the rising costs of fuel, food, and heating as their wages remained the same despite the overall rising cost of living.
Unions are demanding a raise of 500 euros, increasing their 1,800 euros wages to 2,300 ($2,500), in addition to a revision of the country's social security system so it could better match wages to the rising cost of living.
Under the Belgian system of indexation, rising consumer prices automatically lead to larger paychecks in the public sector, but trade unions argue that a fixed 0.4% raise was no longer enough to cover household expenses.