BRUSSELS, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Train services were severely disrupted in Belgium on Wednesday, after rail unions staged a 24-hour strike over working conditions and wages.
The strike began at 10 p.m. Tuesday, with disruptions expected until late Wednesday evening.
Initially scheduled for Oct. 18, the strike was brought forward to put additional pressure on the authorities during the discussion of the 2023-24 budget.
The rail unions were protesting against the lack of structural means granted by the federal government to the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB).
They also called on the federal government to adjust its railroad budget to allocate more resources to dealing with staff shortages, and deteriorating working conditions.
The General Central of Public Services (CGSP) told the Belgian online newspaper 7sur7 that due to a rise in staff shortages and sick leave rates, roughly 22,000 trains were canceled this year.