BRUSSELS – Operations of the city’s public transport is now back to normal after a 4-day strike.
Drivers and employees of the Societe des Transports Intercommunaux des Bruxelles (STIB) stopped working for days to demand the government implement measures that will ensure safety to all public transport employees.
They walked out in protest after one of their colleagues, a 56-year-old inspector who had been working for the company for 29 years, was beaten to death while investigating a collision between a bus and a car.
STIB also complained of a number of violent acts committed against its employees.
Gov't to adopt security measure
Belgium announced some measures which they hoped will help improve security on the Brussels Transport Network.
“We will hire 400 extra police officers. This is a strong signal and symbolizes our determination to step up security standards in Brussels,” Minister of Interior Joelle Milquet said.
She also stated that for the meantime, 100 policemen from the federal police staff will be deployed. On the other hand, STIB security officers will be given more powers. They will be allowed to demand from passengers ID documents and can hold the offenders for hours before policemen arrive.
Discrimination on new safety measures
While the government hopes the new security measures will minimize violence on the road, Filipinos in Brussels think otherwise.
“I think tama lang na magkaroon ng police sa mga nagko-control ng ticket sa mga public transports para na rin sa security ng lahat. Pero yung pagbusisi nila sa mga dokumento ng pasahero ay maaring maging mitsa para mapauwi ang mga undocumented workers sa kani-kanilang bansa,” Fil-Belgian Anne Kukenheim said.
Undocumented migrants fear there might be discrimination, especially to those who do not look like Belgians.
Instead of demanding proper documents from passengers, Pinoys believe that it is better if the government would implement stricter road safety rules and that offenders should be given heavier fines and be punished accordingly.