Makro workers face dramatic situation

Makro workers face dramatic situation
Credit: Belga

The hundreds of workers at Makro Cash & Carry Belgium who may lose their jobs due to the absence of a satisfactory takeover offer are in a “dramatic situation,” the joint trade union front said on Friday, demanding clarity on their fate as soon as possible.

Eleven Makro shops are on the verge of bankruptcy, which would result in the loss of around 1,200 jobs, according to the group’s CEO. An offer from Dutch company Sligro could save 500 workers.

Unions are up in arms about the uncertainty facing staff. “These are people who have been bruised by years of guilt tripping, who are tired of the many promises of recovery with failed plans, and exhausted from years of adaptation, professional rehabilitation and multi-skilling,” the joint front said.

Social dialogue limited to the minimum

The workers’ representatives denounce a process that has lacked transparency. “The legal representatives told us from the beginning that social criteria would be given priority in their choice,” they stressed. “To this end, they were required to communicate constantly. However, they made the trade unionists who were to take part in the meetings sign a confidentiality charter.”

The common front is also angry with management, which has “limited social dialogue to the strict minimum” and with the company’s CEO “who [...] is behind these commercial plans that have only damaged Makro’s image,” the unions charge.

They are therefore calling for clarity as soon as possible and for “the designated judge to energetically remind the judicial representatives of the need for rigorous ethics” in a case that involves more than 2,000 workers.

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