Expatica news

Belgian Supermarket strike cancelled

11 May 2004

BRUSSELS – Trade unions have called of a strike that threatened to close supermarkets and superstores across Belgium the day before the Ascension holiday weekend, it was announced on Tuesday.

The unions called off the action after employers agreed to scrap calls for longer opening hours in Belgium’s superstores and supermarkets.

Had the action gone ahead all branches of the supermarkets Delhaize, Super GB, Carrefour and Cora as well as the furniture superstore IKEA would have been closed on Wednesday 19 May, the day before the Ascension Public holiday.

Supermarket employers federation Fedis said they had accepted the unions’ demands in order to avoid industrial action.

“We support the unions position and have written a common declaration with them asking the government not to change the rules on opening hours nor to alter the agreement struck in 1987, which allows shops to open for three Sundays a year,” said Fedis spokesman Peter Haegeman, adding that his group had agreed with the unions, “to avoid the strike.”

Meanwhile Fedis has announced a major publicity campaign designed to encourage Belgian shoppers to use re-useable shopping bags.

The EUR 600,000 campaign includes television commercials and newspaper articles.

It is designed to reduce waste caused by the estimated 3 billion single-use plastic bags used by Belgian shoppers every year.

Experts say the single use bags create 15 tonnes of waste annually.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news