2013 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Belgium
|Publisher||International Trade Union Confederation|
|Publication Date||6 June 2013|
|Cite as||International Trade Union Confederation, 2013 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Belgium, 6 June 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/51b8517e39.html [accessed 27 September 2016]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Consultation with unions: The newly-formed government introduced major pension and unemployment benefit reforms without consulting trade unions. Only after a general strike was held on 30 January did the government agree to hold consultations.
Refusal to bargain in good faith: In September, employers' organisations deliberately delayed negotiations over the biannual discussion (2013-2014) on social security benefits.
Unreasonable time-limits for bargaining: As a result of pressure exerted by employers' organisations, the government set a time limit of January 2013 for bargaining on overtime and working hours.
Restrictions of strike pickets: The European Committee of Social Rights declared that the restrictive interpretation of the right to strike by civil courts limited strike actions and was a violation of the European Social Charter.
Interference in strike action: Police used water cannons to disperse workers who were striking because of announced mass dismissals at Arcelor Mittal (Liège) in January 2013.
Infringements on the right to freely organise activities: Arcelor Mittal (Liège) security guards have been using pen cameras to spy on trade union meetings since 2008.
Sanctions for strike action: Public authorities interpret the "municipal administrative penalty" broadly and use it to restrict trade union activities. 20 trade unionists were forced to stop distributing leaflets in front of the Delhaize supermarket in Antwerp when they were threatened with administrative penalties on 8 October 2012.
Exclusion of subjects from collective bargaining: In November 2012, the government asked the social partners not to agree on wage increases for 2013-2014.