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SNCB condemns go-slow protest by train drivers

20:40 10/01/2018

The SNCB has condemned the actions of about 30 train drivers who took part in a go-slow protest on Wednesday, delaying some trains by more than half an hour and causing a knock-on effect on other rail traffic.

Some commuters found themselves on trains travelling at a snail's pace during the morning and evening rush. "Train safety was respected. Some people arrived late for work, and I apologise for that," said one train driver, who faces disciplinary action.

"We knew very well that what we were doing was wrong - but this is our only way of challenging our management."

The drivers were protesting about changes to the notice period they are required to give when they resign - increased from one month to a year - which they say makes new employers reluctant to recruit them.

An SNCB spokesman said the go-slow protest was unacceptable and that passengers had been unfairly penalised.

He said drivers had taken between a year and 18 months of training and had made a commitment to the rail operator.

"It is normal for the SNCB to guard against any unexpected departure," he said, adding that a meeting had been called with the unions to discuss the matter further.