Labour Research October 2016

Law Matters

Victory against Lidl supermarket

The GMB general union has achieved a significant legal victory against German supermarket Lidl, securing workers the right to have the GMB negotiate their pay and conditions. 

National secretary Justin Bowden called this “a major victory for the GMB’s campaign for a trade union voice at the workplace”.

Lidl, which has hundreds of stores around the UK and several regional distribution centres, had tried to stop warehouse operatives at the distribution centre in Bridgend, South Wales, from having union representation in relation to the negotiation of pay and conditions.

The GMB applied to the Central Arbitration Committee, the body with statutory powers to rule on trade union recognition. It confirmed that the Lidl employees should have the right to choose union representation. 

Bowden commented: “Lidl’s attempts at union-busting were quite properly thrown out by the judge in a massive victory for rights at work.” The GMB called for a swift ballot to enable warehouse operatives to decide if the union should be formally recognised for collective bargaining at Bridgend.

Lidl has since confirmed its intention to take the battle further by appealing the CAC decision. John Phillips, GMB Wales and South West regional secretary, said: “Regrettably, Lidl continues to show both hostility towards GMB and shameful disregard for the wishes of its own workforce with expensive challenges against fair and objective decisions made by independent third party organisations.” 

The GMB continues its fight to establish trade unionism at Lidl.