Belgium’s general strike against a government austerity plan brought parts of the country to a halt on Monday.
The strike, which began at 10 p.m. local time last night, has shut down all tram, subway and bus services in Brussels. Production stopped at the factories of many companies including Coca Cola and imaging group Agfa-Gevaert.
In addition, BBC reported that production at Audi and Volvo auto plants have also been disrupted, with employees walking off the job.
“The strike halted production in Volvo’s Ghent plant. In total about 1100 cars that were scheduled, could not be produced.
Due to the fact that Volvo Cars Gent is running ahead of schedule, the strike had no negative impact on customers.” a Volvo representative from Belgium told inautonews.
One of Belgium’s main unions, known as FGTB in French and ABVV in Flemish, said the strike was necessary because negotiations with the government were going slowly and not producing specific results.
The country’s main airport at Zaventem, in Brussels, remained open but canceled some flights and advised travelers to check with their airlines before going to the airport.
It’s the first general strike in Brussels for more than 20 years.