Gridlock in Brussels as garbage collectors call wildcat strike

Brussels – A wildcat strike by garbage collectors in Brussels on Thursday left the Belgium capital gridlocked after piles of rubbish were being set on fire across some of the city’s busiest thoroughfares.

Firemen had to intervene to put out the flames and clean rubbish from major arteries such as Rue Belliard, which connects the prime minister’s residence to the European Union neighbourhood, and provide motorway access to other destinations.

Workers were protesting recent institutional reform, agreed during negotiations on government formation, to transfer responsibility for street cleaning from the Brussels region to smaller individual municipalities.

About 300 people, of a total of 600 Brussels street cleaners, took part in the strike, which started unannounced at 0730 GMT.


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