Tens of thousands of workers are demonstrating through Brussels to protest the free-market regulations and austerity measures that the center-right government has been pushing through during its first year in office.

Belgium's three main unions joined hands Wednesday behind a common platform arguing that the government of Prime Minister Charles Michel is promoting big companies at the expense of the workforce.

The unions specifically complain about a freezing of the link between inflation and wages, an increase of the retirement age, cuts in social services and tax measures that they claim unfairly benefit employers.

Last year, some 120,000 demonstrators protested the plans of the government, with little effect.