The construction contractor Tom Willemen had to shut down his yards in recent days. “We had no other option. There was great fear, the police cracked down on some sites and the rules were unclear. ”
Martine Reynaers, of the aluminum company of the same name, is still receiving orders, but has to fight against the fear of her staff. “People are still terribly afraid. Maggie De Block’s statement (‘Stay in your kot’, ed.) Is still reverberating. As long as that fear does not go away, it is difficult to start work all over again. In the meantime, management continues to work at the headquarters in Duffel. “We want to show that management is also present.”
The transport sector seems to benefit from the reduced traffic jams on the road, but this is of little use if there is less and less to transport. “Our problem is mainly that demand has largely disappeared because so many companies are closed. It is a drama for healthy companies if this continues for months, “says Pierre Thielemans, the director of the Ghent transport group Lalemant.
The entrepreneurs receive support from Jan Denys, the labor market specialist of the employment agency Randstad. “The Group of Ten (G10), the consultative body of the trade unions and the employers’ organizations, must send a signal that we must return to work, of course with good agreements on safety and hygiene,” he says.