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    Carrefour workers shut down ten shops in protest

    Ten Carrefour shops were shut down by staff who wanted to send a message to management over work conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: CNE Commerce-syndicat des travailleurs du commerce/Facebook

    A protest movement amongst supermarket employees has spilt over across brands, with Carrefour employees shutting down ten days after a similar movement in Delhaize.

    Ten Carrefour shops across Belgium did not open on Friday as staff walkout in protest of poor compensation and risky sanitary conditions amid a surge in customer traffic fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “Staff is striking and shops are closed. [Staff] is fed up. Anxiety and tension have been piling up for weeks,” CNE retail trade union wrote on Facebook. “Employees are exhausted but standing up.”

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    “We do not want to impact clients, the message is meant for the company,” CNE added.

    The closures concern shops of the global retail giant in Charleroi (Gosselies), Antwerp (Berchem), Liège (Ans), Drogenbos, Wavre (Bierges), Kraainem and in the Brussels municipalities of Auderghem, Evere and Etterbeek.

    CNE said that supermarket staff were “aware of the Covid-19 context” and that the would move to gradually reopen shops with the aim of “ensuring customer service.’

    “Nevertheless, staff remain dissatisfied and wanted to send a signal to their employer,” the trade union wrote.

    The protest movement comes only a day after workers at retail chain Delhaize secured a €500 bonus in in-store vouchers after shutting down four shops in protest.

    Delhaize staff were striking over the lack of mouth masks and gloves made available to them as they continued working through the viral pandemic that has brought the world to a halt.

    “Major retailers are making a lot of money right now and it would only be fair that their workers could benefit from that as well,” union representative Rosetta Scibilia said.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times