Picket at Delhaize in Recogne (Libramont) Experiences Incidents

For the past two weeks, Delhaize stores in Wallonia and Brussels have remained shut after the management announced their intentions to franchise all stores. Today, a picket was organized by CNE at Delhaize in Recogne (Libramont). However, the store manager unexpectedly decided to open the store, putting pressure on the staff, provoking those participating in the picket, and even calling the police and a bailiff. CNE representative Michel Duby expressed regret for the violence against workers and stated that the director of the store is a candidate purchaser, which may explain his disrespectful treatment of workers. Duby also reported that the director had filled the store with produce to create a good impression for his management, even though this action may have brought serious financial risks to the company. The CNE accused Delhaize management of distilling false information to force workers back to work and undermine their morale. The incident in Libramont prompted concerns about future social consultations under the new franchisee, who resorted to police force and bailiffs in this case.

For almost two weeks, most Delhaize stores in Wallonia and Brussels have been closed following management’s announcement to franchise all of its stores.

This morning, the CNE was responsible for the picket at Delhaize in Recogne (Libramont).

“But this morning, against all odds, the manager of the Recogne store (Libramont) had decided otherwise, relates Michel Duby Permanent CNE, picket manager this morning. Indeed, all means were good, putting pressure on the staff, provocation towards the participants of the picket, appeal to the police and at the end of their arguments, appeal to a bailiff to find that there was a picket…”

Michel Duby (CNE) declares that he regrets this violence against the workers, and informs that this director is a candidate buyer, which explains his disrespectful attitude towards the workers, preferring the good image to be sent back to his management than respect and the fate of 9,000 workers who are scared and still in shock.

“This director had therefore anticipated his day, by filling his store with fresh produce, putting the company at serious financial risk, he had asked the staff to return to work and explained that without a customer, wages would not be paid…” , continues the CNE in a press release. We have clearly entered into a communication war, where management is distiling false information in order to resume work at all costs and above all to undermine the morale of the workers. So this morning in Libramont was it yet another provocation from the management of Delhaize, or an isolated fact from a future buyer candidate? In any case, we were able to see that this future franchisee was considering future social consultation by resorting to the forces of order and the use of bailiffs… Not a very good omen for the workers…”

In conclusion, the ongoing conflict between the management of Delhaize and its workers has reached a new level of tension. The picket at the Recogne store in Libramont was met with resistance from a director who is also a candidate buyer, and who resorted to provocation and false information to pressure the staff into returning to work. This highlights the importance of social consultation and respect for workers’ rights in times of change and uncertainty. As the franchise plan moves forward, it remains to be seen how the fate of the affected workers will be addressed, and whether the new owners will prioritize profit or people.

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