Employees of Albert Heijn distribution centers went on strike tonight for a better collective labor agreement, the trade unions FNV and CNV announced. More actions have been announced.
The unions had given the supermarket chain until 5 p.m. to come up with a good proposal for wage increases. “The management has not responded to the demands in our ultimatum, which is why strikes will start from tonight at the locations in Geldermalsen, Pijnacker and Zaandam,” says Shefania Sewbaks, director at FNV Handel.
The union is aiming for a wage increase of 14.3 percent plus 100 euros gross per month. The FNV also wants wages to rise in line with the prices in the shops from now on. CNV wants a wage increase “with at least two digits before the decimal point”.
Albert Heijn proposes a wage increase of 6 percent immediately and 2 percent from January. “The stalling of the negotiations means that employees of the distribution centers have to wait longer for the proposed wage increase and we regret that,” the supermarket chain said in a statement.
In addition to the wage increase, the unions also demand that the allowance for working on Sundays for new employees remains at 100 percent of the normal salary (i.e. paid twice on Sunday). Albert Heijn wants to make 50 percent of that.
‘Consequences not yet estimated’
The strike started in the distribution center in Geldermalsen. There, part-time employees stopped work after 7 p.m. At the locations in Pijnacker and Zaandam, there will be a strike from 21:00 to 23:00.
The supermarket chain says it is not yet able to estimate what consequences the strikes will have for the supply of stores. FNV director Sewbaks says that tomorrow at the end of the day the shelves in some branches will already be emptier. “But that is difficult to estimate. That does not happen immediately. It is a process.”
Albert Heijn says it is open to further talks with the trade unions. “In addition, both we and FNV and CNV will have to take steps to reach good agreements for our colleagues from the distribution centers.”
Longer strikes will follow on Monday. Then the full-time employees in Geldermalsen, Pijnacker, Tilburg and Zwolle will strike from 07:00 until Wednesday. Sewbaks: “Whether we continue depends on what Albert Heijn comes up with.”
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