The Port of Antwerp is at a standstill as dockers at Europe’s third-largest container port participate in a nationwide 24-hour general strike.
Dockworkers also walked off the job at Zeebrugge, Belgium’s second-largest container hub. The strike is scheduled to continue until 6 a.m. local time Tuesday.
The Antwerp port authority said the stoppage is costing the port $1.3 million an hour in “added value” and damaging its relationship with international customers.
Strikers have halted all domestic and cross-border rail freight traffic, and flights have been canceled at Brussels Airport. Unions called the strike, which coincides with a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels, to protest a government austerity program aimed at reducing the country’s bloated budget deficit.
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