Unions warn of empty shelves if agreement isn’t reached

Unions warn of empty shelves if agreement isn’t reached
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Belgian unions have warned of actions that could interrupt food supplies leaving depots if an agreement on wages cannot be reached in negotiations on Wednesday.

Involved parties will meet “one last time” with the aim of reaching an agreement that deals with worker concerns on purchasing power, mobility and working conditions, Belga News Agency reports.

“After eight rounds, the negotiations for the food retail sector have still not progressed,” the FGTB Horval union said in a statement. “The inability to discuss working conditions and purchasing power at company level makes it impossible to reach an agreement between the social partners.”

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The main crux of the debate centres on union demands for a 0.4% raise, the corona bonus of €500, and the ability to negotiate hours at a company level.

“There is already very little to negotiate, but the employers do not want to pay the workers the 0.4% they are owed for 2021. The workers are determined,” the unions explained. Staff in the sector who are fed up with their company managers’ “provocative and disrespectful” attitudes will organise a variety of actions in the morning to express their frustration.

Speaking on the news, Tangui Cornu, co-president of the FGTB Horval, warned that refusing to take into account the factors presented is “a dangerous gamble on the eve of the end-of-year festivities.”

No concrete date for future actions has yet been announced.


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