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Zelzate is a small municipality (12,700 inhabitants) in East Flanders. It is also the only municipality in Belgium governed by a left-wing majority, from the PTB-PVDA with the sp.a (social-democrats). This majority has opted for new investments, a fairer distribution of charges and more participation. A "fair tax shift" is at the centre of Plan for the Future: large companies and multinationals will contribute more, citizens and small enterprises less. (photo : "I support the fair Tax-shift in Zelzate")
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Hundreds of Belgians (amongst them 150 members of the PTB-PVDA) went to Lille on Saturday 11 January for the demonstration against the pension reform project of Macron. The battle of the French workers is also the battle of all workers in Europe. Working longer for less money, we don’t want this at all.
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One loaf of bread a month. This is what the employers are willing to "offer" to the 140,000 household helpers working in the service voucher sector. Yet another sign of contempt. The response is therefore action. On November 28th, 2019, the first action of a long struggle carried by household helpers was held in Brussels.
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What to wish for 2020 ?
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The PTB welcomes the agreement obtained on 19 November in the parliamentary working group, setting up a “healthcare workers fund” to respond to the demands from the healthcare sector. (video)
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On Sunday 10 November, a future reception centre for asylum seekers in Bilzen, Flanders, was destroyed in an arson attack. The fire did not occur out of the blue. It is the consequence of a far-right strategy aimed at sowing hatred and division. Here is the reaction in Parliament of PTB-PVDA deputy Gaby Colebunders, former Ford worker in Genk (Limburg province) and son of an immigrant coal miner.
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The agitation by healthcare workers comes at a time when the left-wing Workers’ Party of Belgium has been pushing for a large influx of government funds into the sector.
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After having worked their entire careers, pensioners are entitled to a decent pension. It is a matter of justice, respect and fair distribution. While politicians are drawing EUR 4,250 pensions, Belgian pensions are among the lowest in Western Europe. With average pensions ranging from EUR 1,244 for men to EUR 989 for women, retired workers cannot even afford a retirement home, let alone enjoy their retirement.
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Hundreds of restructuring and layoffs in Match, Smatch and Carrefour stores, a major spontaneous strike at Lidl last year: a real storm hit the distribution sector.
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The tenth edition of ManiFiesta took place on 21 and 22 September. ManiFiesta is a festival organized by Solidair, magazine of the PTB-PVDA and Medicine for the People.
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Now that Thomas Cook Belgium has also been declared financially incapacitated, Maria Vindevoghel, member of parliament for PTB-PVDA, warns against the possibility of a snowball effect in the sector. For the former Sabena trade unionist, dismissals must be avoided at all costs. “Shareholders and employers have benefited for years from profits and bonuses. Workers, on the other hand, are left in the most complete uncertainty today.”
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Marc Botenga, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the PTB-PVDA, voted against Ursula von der Leyen's candidacy as the new president of the European Commission, as did the entire Group of the European United Left (GUE/NGL), of which the PTB-PVDA is a member.