BELGIUM: Carrefour workers plan strike
Union accuses Carrefour of mis-management
Carrefour's Belgian workforce plans to strike this Saturday (27 February) in protest against a swathe of job cuts and store closures that were announced earlier this week.
Carrefour has said that it will reduce its Belgian workforce by 11%, with the closure of 21 underperforming outlets and the loss of 1,672 jobs.
The French retailer said that the move is necessary in order to return the group to profitability in the market, where it has witnessed five years of decline. Last week, Carrefour posted a 2.9% drop in sales in Belgium during 2009 as its market share dropped from 30% to 25% in the fourth quarter alone.
However, a spokesperson for the Setca union representing the shop workers insisted that the company had fared badly in Belgium due to poor managerial decisions.
“The news is obviously a huge blow for staff,” the spokesperson said. “Carrefour's problems in Belgium are the consequence of an ever-shifting management strategy which is unstable and difficult for employees and consumers.”
Moreover, the spokesperson warned, the union remains unconvinced that the group's new strategy will have any more longevity than previous attempts to rejuvenate sales in the country.
“We are concerned that even those who will keep their jobs – with considerably worse employment and payment terms - will only do so until Carrefour determines on a new direction. There have been no assurances from the company in this regard.”
Carrefour was not immediately available at time of press.
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