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Belgium cancels all flights as workers stage national strike

BRUSSELS: Belgian airports cancelled virtually all flights on Wednesday because of a national strike over pay and working stipulations that halted activity at ports, hit public delivery and ended in blockades outdoor factories.

Belgian air visitors keep an eye on frame Skeyes close Belgian airspace for 24 hours from 10 pm (2100 GMT) on Tuesday as a result of it will no longer ensure enough personnel would flip up.

Brussels Airport, the country's busiest hub, said it had deliberate to care for 591 passenger and cargo departures and arrivals and that the strike would hit some 60,000 travellers.

Just one passenger flight, to Moscow, would depart late on Wednesday, with a couple of late arrivals and some cargo flights.

National rail operator SNCB said about half of its teach services were operating. High-speed Thalys, operating to Amsterdam and Paris, said it should be operating normal services, though catering will not be to be had on all trains. Some Eurostar trains to London were cancelled because of repairs.

Dock staff were not loading or unloading ships in the port of Antwerp. Blockades stopped paintings at factories across the nation.

Brussels' metro, tram and bus operator ran just a handful of strains. The scenario was the same in the rest of the country.

Unions are calling for wage will increase, an progressed work-life balance and higher pensions in talks with employers. Some see the strike as political action against the centre-right federal executive ahead of a parliamentary election.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said talks needed to resume through Thursday and added that businesses had created 219,000 jobs in the past four years thanks to the federal government's policies.

Belgium's Central Council of the Economy, composed of employee, employer and consumer representatives, has instructed that the utmost pay hike for 2019 and 2020 should be 0.eight %. Michel's office said that, together with wage indexation, this supposed an effective pay build up of as much as 4.6 %. (Reporting through Clare Roth; modifying through Philip Blenkinsop and Alexandra Hudson)

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