Transport, schools, administration have all been disrupted. Employees are demanding better pay, better retirement plans and better working conditions. “You must have quality jobs. Jobs with a higher salary, and jobs with a high quality,” says one striker. “We want to get things more social and a better balance between work and private time,” chimes in another at the airport picket line. The strike in Belgium has echoes elsewhere. “For example North and Center of Europe of course, like in Belgium, is mainly a demand for wage increases. And then in the South we had very strong collective bargaining systems and good wage developments in the past but then the troika intervention in some countries and the austerity an so on, all this has dismantle really the industrial systems that were there,” explains Luca Visentini, Secretary general of European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) According to ETUC the last decade saw cuts in real wages of at least 30%, a situation worst than 2008.