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Brussels Delhaize stores see continued disruption over work conflict
Most Delhaize grocery stores in Brussels continue to see disruption as a result of the ongoing conflict between the corporation and its workers, who are opposed to plans to move the shops to a franchise model.
The majority of the capital's 22 integrated shops, as well as the one in Nivelles, were the subject of blockades earlier this week as part of the dispute.
According to the CNE union, 16 stores in Brussels are affected: Fort Jaco, Westland, Prince de Liège, Arbre Ballon, Flagey, Roodebeek, Karreveld, Boondael, Hankar, Chazal, Charles Woeste, Saint-Antoine, Mozart, Boondael, Debroux and Molière.
The closures and picket lines at the entrances to these shops come as the Brussels court order banning all blockades of Delhaize facilities nationwide expired last Friday. As a result, strikers preventing access to supermarkets will no longer face fines.
An ordinance remains in force in Hainaut province only.
Delhaize management has sent bailiffs to various sites, according to spokesperson Roel Dekelver.
“We are in the process of seeing what we can do to guarantee access to our shops, both for our customers and for our employees. We have no further comment at this stage,” Dekelver said.
Unions are protesting the corporation’s plans to place all of their stores under independent, private management, expressing concern that this will lead to a further decrease in working conditions than what is already being experienced in a sector facing staff shortages and low wages.
Management has been unwilling to back down since announcing its intent back in March and even went to court to get an order to force the employees to stop striking. Now that this order has expired, worker actions have resumed.