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GMB union wins right to represent Lidl warehouse workers

Published 11/08/2016

The GMB has called for a ballot of affected workers at Lidl to establish if they want the union to be formally recognised for collective bargaining
The GMB has called for a ballot of affected workers at Lidl to establish if they want the union to be formally recognised for collective bargaining

A leading union has announced a "landmark" legal victory to represent workers at supermarket chain Lidl.

The GMB said it had successfully challenged a bid to block warehouse workers in Bridgend, south Wales being represented.

Following a ruling by the Central Arbitration Committee, the GMB called for a ballot of the workers to establish if they want the union to be formally recognised for collective bargaining.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer, said: "Lidl's attempts at union busting were quite properly thrown out by the judge in a massive victory for rights at work.

"Today's ruling opens the gates to not only improving employees' pay and terms and conditions at the Bridgend site, but is also a major victory for the GMB's campaign for a trade union voice at the workplace.

"The suggestion that Lidl's workers do not need the option of a trade union to stick up for them and fight for their interests is baloney.

"As a result of today's ruling, employees will get the chance to decide for themselves whether the company's own 'personal personnel hotline' is any match for an independent union taking their side and defending their interests in the workplace."

A Lidl spokesman said: "Naturally, we are disappointed with the outcome of the judicial review and we are currently considering an appeal with our legal team.

"As a responsible retailer, we are committed to ensuring that our employees receive a high level of internal support and are provided with entitlements that go above and beyond statutory standards.

"This includes longer basic holiday packages, which increase with length of service.

"In 2015, we also became the first British supermarket to adopt the Living Wage, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, directly benefiting over 50% of our workforce and ensuring that Lidl employees would be amongst the best paid in the industry.

"We maintain the belief that our employees are fairly represented within the business, without having to engage with unions and creating a fragmented workforce.

"Our commitment to fairness across our entire workforce forms a central part of our core values, and we are dedicated to nurturing a collaborative environment that is based on open and direct lines of communication."

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