Spontaneous strike action in four Delhaize shops in Brussels

Friday, 17 March 2017 17:15
Strike action has occurred in four Delhaize shops in the Brussels region today (Friday). This is owing to the effects of restructuring that took place in 2014. Strike action has occurred in four Delhaize shops in the Brussels region today (Friday). This is owing to the effects of restructuring that took place in 2014. © Belga
Today (Friday), workers in four Delhaize hypermarkets, in the Brussels area have spontaneously stopped work.
The CNE (the French-speaking retail and service sector union) has stated this. Employees from the retailer are protesting against the effects of the 2014 restructuring plan.

The strike action took hold around 9 a.m. at the Léopold III, Defré, Fort Jaco and Arbre Ballon shops.

Manuel Gonzalez, the Regional Permanent Secretary for Brussels and Walloon Brabant explained, “Workers are tired of the plan's effects.”

Of particular concern is the management of the restructuring plan decided in June 2014. This anticipated shedding the jobs of some 1,800 colleagues. This is incurring the wrath of employees.

Rosetta Scibilia, a CNE representative, said, “Each shop must operate with ten to fifteen fewer staff.” There are thus consequences both for customer service and shelf-stacking, which is also having an impact on turnover.

The union representative says that there is a decrease in sales, for which the Delhaize management are holding staff responsible. She goes on, “Our fear is that there will be a new catastrophe.” Her feeling is that this will take the form of a further restructuring plan.

Staff members are asking for employment structural reinforcement, which does not include intermittent arrangements involving fixed term contracts or student contracts. These are a concern at the present time.

Ms Scibilia indicated that the shops in Mons and Epinois (Hainaut) have started to implement such reinforcement arrangements.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times
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