Social tensions are going through the roof at Selfridges‘ Dutch subsidiary De Bijenkorf, with an eighth day of a wave of strikes culminating in the trade unions actively asking consumers to stop buying.
The unannounced strike happened on a symbolic day, on Saint Nicholas Eve – when Dutch children traditionally receive a lot of presents. It is, however, part of an ongoing dispute: employees demand a raise by at least 10 %, a minimum wage of 14 euros per hour and automatic compensation for inflation – a system similar to the one that exists in Belgium.
The first strike already happened on 30 September and six others have happened so far, but the unions say that management keeps on looking the other way. Moreover, it has employed interim workers and staff from its headquarters to break the stri:e “We take this very seriously: this is unacceptable and respectless”, FNV’s Linda Vermeulen states. This is why strikers now go a step further and actively ask shoppers to stop their purchases. “Please, show some solidarity and only start shopping again after our industrial action has ended”, they plead. The strike focuses mainly on the Rotterdam store, but has spread to other shops as well.