Articles

News
In our newsletter of September 10th, we announced the coming publication of the latest book by PTB-PVDA chairman Peter Mertens, They have forgotten us. The working class, health care and the coming crisis. Today we have the pleasure of inviting you for the evening launch of the French translation of the book, published by Le temps des cerises.
Interview
"They have forgotten us. The working class, health care and the coming crisis". This is the title of Peter Mertens' new book, the fourth since he became chairman of the Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA) in 2008. Before starting the interview, he points out that "this is not a book about the virus, it is a book about society."
Analysis
In September, the company announced that about 100 jobs were threatened in Belgium. The unions have just learned during a video conference that this figure is doubled ... The aviation sector has been badly affected by the coronavirus crisis. Big aviation multinationals have been getting in each other's way in search of help from a number of states. That's quite ironic. When all goes well, they pay out astronomical dividends to their shareholders. When things go wrong, they make their workers pay and expect the community to pay the piper. In Germany, Lufthansa will thus be granted 12 billion euros of public money to survive, while the company has earned 9 billion of profit over the past 5 years.
News
If it depends on the preliminary opinion of the European Court of Justice, there will soon be a very liberal judgment against the statute of Belgian dockers. The Major1 Act could become an empty box, and there would be less space for unions and more for temporary employment agencies. Such liberalisation of port labour opens the door to social dumping. This matter does not only concern (European) dockworkers, but all workers who want more social protection, trade unions who want to have an impact and all those who stand up for a more social Europe.
Interview
On 17 July, the Federal Parliament set up a commission to examine Belgium's colonial past and draw lessons for the present and the future. Nabil Boukili, MP for the PTB-PVDA, who has been fighting racism and colonialism on the ground for years, is a member of this committee and is its rapporteur. He explains to us where this commission comes from and what it's meaning is.
News
“This is the same policy as the previous government”, reacted PTB-PVDA chariman Peter Mertens to the announcement of the Vivaldi government's agreement (a government composed of the 4 major political families, like the 4 seasons: liberals, social-democrats, Christian-democrats and greens). “The liberals are making their mark: there will be no tax on millionaires, the pension age remains at 67, despite all the promises, and wages remain frozen. That's not what people voted for.” The PTB-PVDA promises a strong leftist opposition, both in Parliament and in the streets.
News
As the 7 traditional parties (liberals, socialists, greens and christian democrats) are on the verge of forming a government, after 490 days of negotiations, trade union united-front rallies have taken place to put pressure on the negotiators and to put social priorities on the table.
News
After 13 days of strike action, the workers of AB InBev have managed to bring the beer multinational to its knees and to obtain good progress in enforcing health regulations.How? A small glimpse of the ingredients of a victory.
News
The German chain of discount stores Aldi belongs to one of the wealthiest families in Europe, and has registered record sales this year. This does not prevent management from saving money on the backs of the personnel. An unprecedented spontaneous strike turned into a first victory for the whole country. Aldi's staff and trade unions have obtained an extension of the special measures and compensation related to the coronavirus and, more importantly, they have won respect.
News
The Workers' Party of Belgium (PTB-PVDA) denounces the presence of former lobbyist Richard Bergström in the European Commission's negotiating team for the advance purchase of a vaccine against Covid-19. The left Party fears that Bergström's presence will guarantee agreements that are very favourable to the interests of the pharmaceutical multinationals, at the expense of citizens and social security. Marc Botenga, Member of the European Parliament for the PTB-PVDA, calls for transparency: "Show us the contracts."
News
The French multinational Sodexo announces its intention to lay off 380 workers in Belgium. "This is unacceptable, " reacted Raoul Hedebouw, spokesman for the PTB. "They cooked food in hospitals, cleaning, etc. They are among the heroes of the crisis that kept society going." Their work has also paid off for the company, which made a profit of €1.2 billion in 2019. The PTB-PVDA proposes a move to the 34-hour week, which would save jobs.
Analysis
Four days after the start of the extraordinary European summit in Brussels, European Union leaders reached an agreement on a 'coronavirus' recovery plan. This plan is designed to address, on a European scale, the forecasted serious economic crisis. The European Union is going to launch a collective loan of 750 billion euro for the first time in its history. This could be an important step towards more solidarity between European countries, but the conditions imposed are challenging.