“We had to wait 2 hours for them to talk to us about social issues”: Mestdagh staff worried after the takeover of 86 stores by Intermarché
The staff of the 86 Mestdagh stores, bought by Intermarché, are worried. The management of Intermarché met for the first time with the union delegations. They are hardly reassured even if for the moment no job cuts are planned.
The economic plan for the takeover of Mestdagh by Intermarché was presented to the unions on Tuesday. Intermarché aims to double the profitability of these stores. “There is incredible potential in this business provided that the recipes that have made Intermarché in Belgium successful in recent years are applied.“, indicates Guillaume Beuscart, managing director of Intermarché Belgium.”
To achieve these ambitions, Intermarché will operate via the franchise store system. Managed by independent directors therefore. The unions fear an impact on wages, on flexibility and an increase in the volume of work. “We have the guarantee that they will respect the law“, says Evelyne Zabus, CNE permanent secretary. “If they take back the buildings and the people, they will take back the working conditions at the moment “t”. But we don’t know all of the conditions, what versatility, if they will open on Sunday all day,… We have no info.“
“Just talking about commercial”
Mestdagh had been struggling for several years. This takeover is therefore a prospect for the future, but with gray areas. In particular on the representation of unions in future stores. “It’s a topic that hasn’t even been brought up.“, says Myriam Delmée, president of SETCA.”We had to wait 2 hours to be told about social. We have been told so far about commercial. It’s the only thing that interests them, to make additional turnover. The job was swept away for 5 minutes.“
For the time being, no job cuts are planned. The two parties will meet again on Thursday. The social component should be more widely addressed.
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