103 of the 138 Delhaize's own stores have decided to close today as the employees protest the board's proposed restructuring.
"Huge economic repercussions"
"Delhaize laments the strikes, which will have huge economic repercussions for the company", spokesperson Roel Dekelver told Belga. The Belgian supermarket chain hopes to get the stores opened as soon as possible and added that the 550 franchise stores have opened.
The distribution centres in Zellik and Ninove have also been blocked ever since Thursday morning and are still unavailable.
90 euro loss in wages
Earlier this week, Delhaize's board proposed a few changes to keep forced layoffs to a minimum. It no longer wants to pay for breaks and it also wants to eliminate one day of seniority leave. Altered wage conditions would lead to a gross wage loss of 90 euro per month.
Delhaize had already announced large restructuring programs in June: 14 supermarkets will close and 2,500 people will be laid off and protests have grown ever since.