Over 15,000 in Brussels demand protection from high prices

Dec 16, 2022, 4:40 AM | Updated: 4:44 am
Union workers light flares and wave banners during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 20...

Union workers light flares and wave banners during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Over 15,000 demonstrators braved the bitter cold in Brussels Friday to call for more measures to shield them from high energy prices and better pay to counter runaway inflation.

Because of the protest backed by the three main unions, public services were affected throughout Belgium, especially rail and subway systems in and around the capital and Brussels international airport.

With people increasingly under pressure from high prices, the unions demanded pay increases at a time when companies such as energy giants are making massive profits. They seek a freeze in energy prices and increased taxation on capital.

“We won’t stop unless workers get what they deserve,” the unions said in a statement.

Police estimated the crowd walking in freezing temperatures through the capital at 16,500.

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              Union workers march with a sign which reads 'increase salaries and withdrawls' during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              Union workers hold signs which read 'I am hungry' and 'bread not crumbs' during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              Union workers wear signs which read 'block the prices, France does it' during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              A union worker wears a photo of European Council President Charles Michel on his helmet which reads 'Every month of crisis, I manage it" during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              Union workers light flares and wave banners during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              A union worker wears a model of a shopping cart on his helmet during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              Union workers wear Christmas caps and wave balloons during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
            
              Union workers light flares and wave banners during a demonstration in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 16, 2022. Belgium's trade unions called for a national demonstration in Brussels on Friday to protest against the high cost of living and energy prices. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

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Over 15,000 in Brussels demand protection from high prices