If the social climate is rather hot with the announcement of a general strike on November 9 in a context that some qualify “insurrectionary”the debate between social partners was courteous with listening on both sides.
260,000 Walloon households have received a formal notice
From the outset, Jean-François Tamellini, the general secretary of the Walloon FGTB does not hide the difficulty of the hour: ” The situation is clear and limpid: in Wallonia we have 260,000 households (i.e. one household in six) who received a formal notice for non-payment of energy bills. In this context, we are told “what are the unions doing”? And to add so that we understand the gravity of the situation: “workers are no longer fighting just for purchasing power but for the power to live”.
Finding solutions to restore balance
But overall the situation is becoming difficult for “90% of Walloon households for which it will be necessary to find solutions in order to restore a balance”. And to parallel “the 66 billion in dividends distributed” and “the 6 billion profits of the main banks in Belgium in 2021” in the face of these Walloon households who can no longer pay their energy bills at the end of the month and who see the surge “prices of basic food products”, increase much higher than the index increases, notes the union official: “plus 25% for dairy products, plus 35% for pasta, basic products!”.
Create margins where they exist
For the Walloon FGTB, it is essential to generate margins where they exist, “to restore balance” because certain economic sectors have largely benefited from the opportunities offered over the past two years. But while at the start, the project was to act on sectors where there are big profits such as energy, the response received was: “for wages, it will be 0% there too. This is why our response in return was to say, we must send an additional electric shock to the government and to the business world to be heard”. But the message indicates the trade unionist is: “restoring the balance”
Serious situation also for many entrepreneurs