GMB hails court ruling over union recognition for Lidl supermarket workers
A leading union has claimed a "massive victory" for workers' rights after a legal ruling over its bid to represent warehouse staff at supermarket giant Lidl.
The GMB hailed a decision by the Court of Appeal to reject an attempt by the company to overturn a previous ruling allowing it to negotiate on behalf of workers at a site in Bridgend, South Wales.
The court confirmed the right of the GMB to ballot the workers for union recognition.
Lorraine Gaskell, regional organiser of the GMB, said: "Despite Lidl's repeated attempts at union-busting, the courts have today upheld a massive victory for workers' rights.
"The company has shown a shocking lack of respect for their own staff's wishes, and wasted shareholders' money with this frivolous appeal.
"This will pave the way for workers at Bridgend to negotiate their pay and conditions via their democratically selected union reps.
"Hopefully Lidl will now see sense and form a constructive relationship with us."
A Lidl spokesman said: "Whilst we are disappointed with the outcome of the Court of Appeal, we respect the decision and the ballot process will receive our full support.
"As a responsible retailer, we are committed to ensuring that our employees receive a high level of internal support and industry-leading terms and conditions. This includes enhanced holiday packages, which increase with length of service.
"In 2015, Lidl also became the first British supermarket to adopt the Living Wage, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, and we were again the first supermarket to announce pay increases in line with the real Living Wage rate in 2016.
"This latest move, which became effective in March 2017, directly benefited over a quarter of our employees.
"We believe that our employees are fairly represented within the business, without having to engage with unions and creating a fragmented workforce.
"The proposed bargaining unit does not reflect the Lidl ethos of one company, one team.
"Our commitment to fairness across our entire workforce forms a central part of our core values. Our preference is to have open and direct lines of communication with our employees.
"We respect and will support each employee's vote in the upcoming ballot and await the final outcome."