Last summer, unions from various European countries discussed plans to protest against the Lidl supermarket chain. However, Lex Makkinje of FNV Bondgenoten says that Lidl’s Dutch branch has become a decent employer.
In 2004, German union Ver.di published a black paper on Lidl’s treatment of employees. The company was likened to the Foreign Legion. In the same year, its counterpart Aldi was severely criticised in the Dutch media.
The negative publicity had an impact on the Dutch branch of Lidl: “The Lidl management was concerned about that. We are not there yet, but we have made giant steps”, Makkinje told Algemeen Dagblad.
Contrary to Lidl, there would still be ‘pre-war’ labour relations at Dutch Aldi. Nevertheless, Lidl also still has some peculiar rules. For example, employees who talk about Lidl in the media can be fined 4,000 euro, even if they say something positive. “Of course, that has to be removed from the contract”, Makkinje said.