In order to put pressure on the Employers’ Federation of Chemistry, with which sectoral negotiations are blocked, the CSC and the FGTB have launched a series of strike actions, particularly in Picardy Wallonia. In Lessines, the companies Baxter and Takeda are blocked. Other work stoppages are scheduled by the end of the week in other companies in western Hainaut. An action is also taking place in Flanders, at Agfa Gevaert in Mortsel. On October 15, while sectoral negotiations were underway, the Employers’ Federation of Chemistry Essenscia put an end to exchanges between the social partners. “Consequently, social peace is no longer guaranteed in the sector. Actions will emerge in the country’s chemical companies. These movements will impact the production and the functioning of companies in the sector”, reacted the unions.
In Picardy Wallonia, these actions began Monday evening at 10 p.m. at the Baxter company and Tuesday, at 6 a.m., at Takeda in Lessines. Both located in the industrial zone, these companies are specialized in the pharmaceutical field. Baxter employs just under 1,000 people while Takeda employs around 1,100 workers. The blocking of these two companies was launched as a common union front FGTB / CSC / CNE. “Our action does not directly target these companies. We have met with the management of these two major companies in this sector so that they challenge the Federation and that negotiations can resume. In the immediate future, the entries of these two companies are blocked and only the maintenance staff of the tool can access the buildings. The productions that had been started are blocked and there will be no new production “, explain Frédéric Lefevre, permanent at CNE Wapi and Xavier Tanghe, regional secretary of FGTB Wapi.
Across the language border, several departments of the Agfa Gevaert imaging group in Mortsel are completely paralyzed on Tuesday, reported the ACV (Flemish counterpart of the CSC). The latter had also announced an action Monday at Lonza in Bornem. For the moment, work continues at the factory, according to delegate Sabri Baeckelandt who specifies that some of the staff will however go to Brussels on Tuesday afternoon, to protest at an event in Essenscia which will take place at Square, at Mont des Arts
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, strike actions were scheduled in other companies in the chemical sector in Picardy Wallonia, in particular at Univar in Tournai (industrial oil), Hoganas in Ath (metal powders), Mc Bride in Estaimpuis (detergents ) and Vandeputte in Mouscron (detergents).