BRUSSELS, Belgium — Belgian workers striking against government austerity plans have badly snarled rail and air service to and from the capital city of Brussels.

As of Monday morning, 44 per cent of flights at Brussels main airport were reported cancelled.

Labour union leaders announced they have also shut down Eurostar and Thalys train service to and from London, Paris and other international destinations.

Metro, bus and tram service in Brussels itself has ground to a halt.

The one-day strike, which also affects the French-speaking Brabant region south of Brussels, is the latest in a series of union actions intended to force the government of Prime Minister Charles Michel to backtrack on a programme to reform pensions, cut health and social security budgets and raise the retirement age