Trade unions have decided to block access to the logistic hub of Mestdagh, which is the largest Belgian franchise partner of Carrefour until 31 December. Several stores remain closed as well.
The logistical hub in Charleroi remained closed today, as did a dozen stores in the provinces of Hainault and Liège. Other actions in the course of this month will also be possible: the unions have threatened that both the current and the new owners will suffer from strikes and blockades.
The employees are worried because of Mestdagh’s acquisition of French retailer Intermarché, and especially after the appointment of Guillaume Beuscart, who has already led Mestdagh through a major restructuring in 2018. Moreover, they are afraid for the (beneficial) conditions that staff at Mestdagh’s integrated stores now enjoy: Intermarché only has franchise stores, where other (less beneficial) conditions are valid.
A particular point of grief for the employees is the fact that they feel their voices are not heard. Mestdagh’s current management says it can not provide any answers as it will not be in charge any more after 31 December. On the other hand, new owner Intermarché refuses to engage in talks until the transaction is formally completed. This is a fallacy, the unions argue, as the new owners are already organising courses to familiarise employees with their till systems.