A Belgian train driver has admitted to deliberately driving his vehicle at a snail’s pace to try and get sacked in a bid to avoid working his one-year notice period.
Cédric Grumiaux told local media he has been offered a better job in the private sector with much better pay and conditions but cannot get out of his current contract with the state-owned SNCB rail firm.
He said that as many as 70 other drivers are in the same boat but that he is the only one who has so far dared to publicly admit their secret strategy of delaying trains.
”We are a group of drivers who have handed in their notice and we are trying to appeal to our management about the one year notice period,” Mr Grumiaux told RTL radio.
“We knew very well that by taking this sort of action and that if we spoke to the press as I did, there would be the threat of being sacked. That is why I did what I did,” he said.
“There was no other way to put pressure on management,” he said, after admitting to delaying passengers on the Mons to Liège by 37 minutes earlier this week.
Belgium’s railways were opened up to private competition in 2007 and the companies who applied for franchises have offered many SNCB train drivers jobs that would boost their pay and benefits.
The SNCB brought in the year’s notice period in 2016 to try and hold on to drivers as long as possible, arguing that it had paid them a salary during their training period which lasted up to 18 months.