Prosecution of union leaders for participating in strikes
In Belgium, article 406 of the penal code allows for prosecution and sentencing for “malicious obstruction of traffic” in the context of a strike movement. This provision, which has already been applied twice in the last two years to condemn seventeen FGTB members to suspended prison sentences and heavy fines, severely hampers possibilities to organise strikes in the country.
While an appeal has been lodged by Belgian trade unions to reverse the sentences, in 2022 another trade unionist was prosecuted under the same provision for a picket line organised in 2016 at the Lantin prison facility. A criminal complaint was filed by the municipality against CGSP members for littering, alleging damages to the tarmac where a brazier was lit. While the public prosecutor requested a dismissal of the case, it was still pending at the time of writing.