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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 May 2018

Belgium Lidl strike victory

Lidl workers in Belgium have beaten management's attempt to force longer hours, photo by Aljona83/CC

Lidl workers in Belgium have beaten management's attempt to force longer hours, photo by Aljona83/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in Usdaw

A week-long series of strikes by Lidl workers in Belgium has led to increased staff at stores across the country. A strike broke out at one store in Oostkamp over the dismissal of a sales manager, which also raised the issue of workloads.

After a failed set of negotiations, where the company wanted to push for longer opening hours, including Sunday, a number of stores went on strike immediately, but soon began being joined by other less organised stores. By 27 April, 147 out of 302 stores in Belgium were reported as closed by the company,

The strikes forced management to concede an extra 42 staffing hours per store for six months, but this was rejected by the SETCa/BBTK unions and the strike continued for a further two days until this was made permanent. Key in winning this was the picketing of the five distribution depots in the country, effectively shutting the company down.

Understaffing is a problem across the whole of the retail sector. The Lidl strike in Belgium shows once again that shop workers do not have to take the attacks of management lying down.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 16 May 2018:


Middle East

Middle East in crisis

Exclusive interview with Gazan activist: "The more they kill us, the more the anger increases"


France '68

May 1968: Revolutionary explosion as two thirds of workforce join strike


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PCS conference 2018: building on the union's militant record

PCS elections - Left sweeps the board


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories' continuing EU quagmire is Corbyn's opportunity

Royal wedding opulence... during longest pay squeeze in 200 years

Richest worth 724bn... as 100,000 kids fall into poverty


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike at Tesco Dagenham for better pay

Belgium Lidl strike victory

Lively Hull demo against college cuts

Harrogate College strike against cuts

Leeds Acas conciliators walkout

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Thousands march on TUC demo

'When we fight, we can win' - campaign halts hospital closure

Chesterfield May Day: march turnout great

Save Our Square takes fight to developers

Save Southall Town Hall legal hearing success


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Ronan Point disaster 50 years on


International socialist news and analysis

Spain: Student general strike against sexist, capitalist 'justice' system

Sweden: Socialist elected leader of 77,000-strong tenants' union


Opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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