Lidl sparks protests after announcing “We will not formally recognise trade unions”

Lidl managers have told Usdaw they have chosen not to formally recognise trade unions.

Union activists will today, tomorrow and Friday continue their long-running recognition campaign at sites in Livingstone, Exeter, Enfield, Wednesbury, Aycliffe, Belvedere and Runcorn.

Usdaw general secretary elect Paddy Lillis said: “Lidl has now responded to our reasonable requests for initial talks about recognising Usdaw as the union for Lidl staff, with a firm ‘thanks, but no thanks’. They have told us that the company has chosen ‘not to formally recognise trade unions’. It is very disappointing that their choice restricts the choice of their staff.

“The staff are keen to talk to us, but often not within sight of the distribution centre where they can be seen by managers. Our campaigners are being moved away from the distribution centres by management and they are subtly doing everything possible to discourage staff from speaking to Usdaw. We had hoped for a more grown up approach.

“The company believes they have no issues to address and their existing direct communications to staff are sufficient without the input of an independent trade union. That is not what the staff are telling us. They welcome Usdaw campaigners at their workplaces, want the union to be recognised and they don’t feel they are able to raise concerns with management for fear of repercussions.

“Good industrial relations are important for business and that requires the staff having a voice, through an independent trade union, so that they get a proper say in their working lives. We urge the company to end their continued opposition to trade unions and meet with Usdaw to talk about recognising us as the trade union for Lidl staff. If that is a step too far at this stage, they should at the very least allow our officials to speak to their staff and let them decide whether they want to be represented by Usdaw.”

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