French retail giant Carrefour has reached an agreement with unions over its plans to restructure operations in Belgium, union officials indicated today (27 May).

The deal, which could potentially draw an end to the increasingly bitter dispute between Carrefour and its unionised workforce in Belgium, will see Carrefour reduce the number of outlets it plans to sell or close in the market.

According to a spokesperson for the BBTK union, negotiations have seen Carrefour back down over its proposals to close five hypermarkets.

The retailer now plans to close nine hypermarkets and seven supermarkets, representing about 65% of its Belgian workforce, the spokesperson revealed.

Additionally, Carrefour will now sell 16 outlets to Mestdagh, the supermarket group that operates Champion chain in France. Carrefour had originally planned to sell 20 outlets to Mestdash.

A further seven supermarkets that were on the block will now not be sold, the spokesperson added.

“We believe that this agreement represents the best achievable deal for Carrefour's Belgian workers,” the spokesperson insisted.

Workers will vote on the deal on 1 June.

Carrefour declined to comment when contacted by just-food, suggesting that an announcement will be made later today.