Vaccination obligation for medical-hospital staff, and the strike is triggered. In Belgium, the decision taken by the Committee that brings together federal government, regional governments, linguistic communities (Codeco) has imposed a squeeze on doctors and paramedics not yet immunized, and the answer is mobilization. The category has announced the abstention from work starting next Monday, November 22, throughout the south of the kingdom and in the capital. A decision that is incredible considering that Belgium is in the midst of the fourth wave, with a daily average of new Coronavirus positive cases increasingly close to the record numbers of the pandemic beginning.
On Monday, November 15, 19,300 infections were reached. The maximum ever recorded in Belgium was 22,221 new positives in a single day, on October 27, 2020. One year later, the country seems to have plunged back into the same situation, with the difference that at the time the intensive care units were in collapse. A difference that risks being swept away. If the curve of infections continues at these rates, the possibility of 900 beds occupied out of the total 2000 of the national health system is foreseen.
Despite this, the CSC (Confederation of Christian Trade Unions, one of the workers’ organizations active in Belgium) has announced the strike in several hospitals in Wallonia and the Brussels capital region, to say “no!” the idea of sanctions against those who do not intend to be vaccinated. For them, automatic suspension from work was decided, with the granting of unemployment benefit. An idea that the union does not like.
The trade union battle is explained by the fear of layoffs and the prohibition of access to the profession. The CSC found the measure “scandalous”, and announced mobilization from 22 to 26 November, plus a demonstration on 24 November in front of the headquarters of the Minister for Health of the Brussels capital region, Alain Maron.