National strike paralyzes public services in Belgium

Reuters Photo

Belgium slowed to a standstill on Wednesday as a national strike closed airports, shuttered businesses and caused major disruption to railways.

Stage to a one-day national strike over payment conditions, Belgium has suffered chaos in public services and transportation on Wednesday.

Belgian labor unions decided to go on a one-day strike as the representatives of workers and employers could not agree on a wage rise for workers.

The Belgian air space was closed to flights for 24 hours in case of uncertainty in the flights. All flights -- including cargo flights -- from Brussels and Charleroi Airports were canceled, as well.

The train services were also largely disrupted when Belgian railway workers joined the strike.

Public transportation came to a halt as several buses and tramways were unable to serve and it was left with one subway line giving a limited service.

The strike also led to chaos in education, mail, municipality and medical services since people staffed in those sectors joined the strike.

Meanwhile, Wednesday's strike coincided with the two-day NATO defense ministers meeting in the capital Brussels. Many defense ministers landed at airports nearby Belgium and went to NATO headquarters in Brussels by cars.

Separately, Turkish Airlines on Wednesday announced that it canceled all its flights to Brussels for Wednesday, citing the national strike.

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