Around 100 Delhaize supermarkets will remain closed today “stores will probably remain closed until Saturday or even Tuesday”
The supermarket chain Delhaize says that 100 of the 128 supermarkets it operates in house will remain closed today (Friday). The Christian trades union ACV that represents some of those that work at the supermarkets say that the stores could remain closed on Saturday too and probably even until Tuesday when talks are due to take place between Delhaize management and the unions to discuss the company's plans to franchise out all the stores it currently still runs in house.
Delhaize announced on Tuesday that it plans to franchise out the 128 supermarket it currently owns and operates itself. After the announcement was made staff at the vast majority of the stores downed tools. Since Wednesday around 100 Delhaize supermarkets have remained closed. Staff at Delhaize fear for their jobs and for a worsening in their pay and conditions if the stores are franchised out. Although the unions had not called their members out on strike they expect the strike to continue until at least Saturday evening.
The Christian trade union ACV's Koen De Punder told journalists that "The anger, frustration, sorrow and great uncertainty about the future have hit hard and it will take time to work through this. These people aren’t striking for fun, it will cost them money, we will have to look at how long we can keep this up”.
Meanwhile, Delhaize has temporarily made its home delivery service free-of-charge. The supermarket chain’s Collect service has been suspended until Monday 20 March. The Delhaize stores that are already franchised out (Shop & Go, AD Delhaize, Proxy Delhaize) are open as normal.