Delhaize management presses ahead with social proposal despite disapproval of unions
Delhaize's management is pressing ahead with the planned franchising of its 128 supermarkets. The first privatised supermarket will open in Denderleeuw on 10 October, accompanied by the measures proposed by the management in its latest proposal. This was not accepted by the unions, who called it a "declaration of war".
Management made its latest proposal in mid-September. It includes a transition bonus for staff of 1,645 euros, plus 125 euros for each full year of seniority, and a bonus of 10,000 euros for those who are eligible and willing to take early retirement. Employees will also keep their pay and working conditions, management say. There is a guarantee that no stores will be closed until at least the end of 2028.
"We have made a considerable effort, although it was not mandatory," says Delhaize spokesperson Roel Dekelver. The plan is "the only possible option to get back on track with the growth of our 128 self-managed supermarkets". So far, the company has found independent buyers for 32 of its supermarkets.
The proposal has been rejected by staff at three of Delhaize's four unions. "This is a declaration of war," said Myriam Delmée, president of the socialist BBTK union, reacting to the news. "This decision was expected. But what the management does not understand is that it will create a huge disorder during the transition to franchising."
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK