Strike closes half of all Lidl stores

Industrial action in protest against work pressure has closed half of all Belgium’s Lidl stores. In all 153 stores belonging to the German low-cost chain are shut today after insufficient staff turned up.  The strike call met the best response in Wallonia where up to 90 stores are closed but in Flanders too outlets are affected.

Sixty percent of Walloon stores are closed.  In Flanders it’s forty percent.

Unions and management have been bickering about work pressure for three years now.  In 2018 the management recruited extra staff, but the unions say these extra jobs are now being cut. 

Bart Leybaert of the socialist union: “Pickets are not preventing staff from entering.  People just aren’t turning up.”   

Fresh talks between unions and management are planned for Monday. The management says that it wants to deploy the extra staff it recruited in the past by taking greater account of the needs of individual stores.  “Some stores are bigger than others and they require greater capacity” insists Lidl’s Isabelle Colbrandt.

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