A little over half of Delhaize’s self-operated supermarkets continue to be closed on Wednesday, in an ongoing protest against the supermarket chain’s announcement of its plans to franchise these remaining supermarkets to hand them all over to independents.
Of the 128 shops operated by Delhaize, 65 are not open on Wednesday morning, announced spokesperson Roel Dekelver. The remaining 63 are open. In Flanders, almost all of their supermarkets are open.
The distribution centre in Zellik, which was blocked earlier this week, is again running as normal. There are strike posts, but no impact on operations, according to Dekelver.
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On Tuesday, a new works council took place at Delhaize on plans to spin off the shops into its own operations, but it did not bring management and unions closer together. Management said afterwards that its plan is "the only option" to re-engage with growth and that it will soon start selecting independents.
A new special works council is scheduled for next Tuesday.
The Delhaize supermarket chain announced at the start of March that it will transform all of its Belgian stores that it currently directly manages into franchises. The move directly contradicts previous assurances to employees and has been widely condemned by Belgian unions.