Where is the obstacle?
If you wanted to go to Lidl for groceries yesterday and today, it’s often worth the effort. Half of the Limburg branches were closed, and Zelzat, Maldigim and Eklo also went on strikes. In total there are more than 100 branches.
What is going on?
In the department store chain, a social struggle over the large workload has been lurking for some time. There were also campaigns at Lidl this spring: when, among other things, a number of distribution centers were closed. “This is a warning to management,” said Quinn de Bonder, representative of the Christian union ACV Puls. “More than a third of our 300 stores are closed and if management does not return to the table soon, we can continue to operate in the coming days.”
Her actions come after a failed reconciliation meeting earlier this week. And unions say management has refused to accede to some of the employees’ demands. For example, unions required employee tasks to be measured over a long enough period, but management only wanted this measurement to be done for one week at a limited number of branches, says BBK. Management would like to cancel the boost that has been introduced at 42 hours per week per store starting in February of next year. According to the guild, strengthening the so-called “Flying Team” is also insufficient.
“We regret that our trade union partners decided on Monday to cancel the meeting,” Liddell spokeswoman Isabel Colbrandt said. “There was a constructive proposal on the table with several measures to better regulate the work of our colleagues in the stores. Unfortunately, the social partners choose to take action. Our customers are the victims of that.”
When will the obstacle be removed?
Because an agreement has not yet been reached, the unions are vowing to continue the measures indefinitely. “We are angry and we will not give up this time.”
“In Limburg, six stores will remain closed,” says Mary Ann Smits of the BBTK Employees Union. “It is possible that more stores will follow suit, and we hear that many employees are ready to strike. If there is no full occupancy, attendees may be working behind closed doors.”
Catherine Degres of BBK adds that stores in East Flanders will remain closed. In Ghent, for example, the branches of Zelzate, Wondelgem, Ghent (van Ryhovenlaan), Destelbergen and Mariakerke will remain closed, as will the store in Maldegem.
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