At department store chain Lidl, more than 100 of the approximately 300 stores in our country will be closed on Wednesday as a result of a strike against the persistently high workload. The trade unions ACV Puls and BBTK and the management have confirmed this. There are also actions in two of the five distribution centers.
According to Koen De Punder of the Christian trade union ACV Puls, 75 stores have been closed in Flanders. This concerns about 25 stores in the Gullegem region, the distribution center that supplies West and East Flanders, 20 around Sint-Niklaas, which serves Antwerp, East Flanders and part of Brussels. In the region around the distribution center Genk, which supplies the Kempen and Limburg, there are another 25 stores.
There are also promotions in the distribution centers of Genk and Gullegem. Goods still come in, but none go out. “This is a warning to the management,” says De Punder. “More than a third of the stores are closed and if the management does not return to the table soon, we can continue the action in the coming days.” Jan De Weghe of the socialist trade union BBTK also hopes that the management will soon come up with new proposals.
Lidl’s management regrets the strike, because, according to her, there was a “constructive proposal” on the table.
Wednesday’s actions come after a reconciliation meeting failed earlier this week. The management did not want to respond to a number of demands from the staff, the unions say. For example, the unions requested a measurement of the tasks of the staff over a sufficiently long period, but the management only wanted to do this measurement for one week in a limited number of branches, says the BBTK. The management would like to abolish the introduced reinforcement of 42 hours per week per store from February next year. The reinforcement of a so-called “flying team” is also insufficient, according to the union.