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Close to 20,000 protest Belgian health, welfare cuts

Associated Press Associated Press 24/11/2016

BRUSSELS — Thousands of demonstrators who work in Belgium's health and welfare sector have protested government plans for austerity measures and demanded more jobs and better pay.

Close to 20,000 protesters from the non-profit sector took to the streets on Thursday, their anger centered on plans to limit days off for veteran workers in the future. Unions say that if the tapering-off of hours is abandoned, pressure at work will only increase and keep youngsters from reinforcing the health sector. Burdened by high debt the government is looking to cut costs, in sectors as far apart as culture and hospital services.

Trade union representatives met with the government ahead of the march and agreed to start talks on the issues concerned.

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