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It’s time for a Lidl more understanding.

The campaign for safer working conditions for Lidl staff will be taken to the heart of Europe as Labour MEP Alex Mayer speaks in the European Parliament chamber.

The Euro MP who recently went to a Lidl distribution centre will say staff are worried by workload levels to achieve productivity targets and a health and safety culture that is “only important after something goes wrong”.

 

The rapidly expanding German global discount supermarket now has over 700 stores in the UK and plans to open its largest distribution centre to date in Luton plus another warehouse in Peterborough.

Across Europe, Lidl approaches workers rights and trade union recognition differently, in each country. While as far back as 2004 German trade union Verdi published The Black Book on Lidl,  exposing a low-pay, high fear culture, last month Belgian Lidl workers won improved working conditions after strike action closed half the country’s supermarkets.

Ms Mayer said: “It is clear Lidl will get away with the least they can when it comes to union recognition but they cannot be allowed to continue to expand at the expense of their workers. If union recognition is ok in Belgium, Sweden and Spain, why not for British workers?”

Ms Mayer will conclude her speech to the Parliament with a direct appeal to the supermarket giant’s bosses, saying: “My message to Lidl is  - end your opposition to unions and meet with Usdaw - talk about recognising them as the trade union for Lidl staff. Until you do, we will keep campaigning outside your warehouses and stores.”

Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis said: “We are grateful to Alex for not only joining our campaigners outside the Lidl’s distribution centre in Enfield, but also taking the issue to the European Parliament.
“Support for our campaign is building and the company must understand that we are not going away just because they have made an unreasonable decision not to engage with and an independent trade union. The staff are telling our campaigners that they want Usdaw to be allowed into Lidl workplaces, despite the best efforts of the company to block us.”

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