NEWS: Lidl in union row over warehouse conditions

By on

Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) has launched a campaign to support Lidl warehouse staff, after it claims workers were subject to ‘cramped’ conditions and poor health and safety.

The union claims it has received wide ranging complaints from staff. These include being set unreasonable workloads to meet targets and feeling pressured and unsafe, according to Usdaw’s reports.

One worker reportedly said: “Warehouse is always very cramped. Lots of accidents with pickers as some do not obey or understand the routes and rules of the warehouse.”

However, without responding to the specific complaints, when contacted for a statement, the German-owned discount supply chain said that staff benefits went above the standard.

“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,” said a statement issued to Safety Management.

It added that Lidl employees are among the “best paid in the industry”, and that Lidl was the first supermarket to adopt the Living Wage.

Usdaw is raising the issues as part of its campaign to urge employers in retail, factory and warehouse industries to recognise it as the independent trade union for their staff. Seven warehouses have been visited by Usdaw staff in March to drum up union support.

Lidl’s spokesperson said it does not recognise Usdaw as its offcial union, adding: “We value direct communication and relationships with our employees and want to be the kind of employer where people don’t feel they need to pay a union to represent them.”

The claims agains Lidl follow a spate of similar reports in 2016 and 2017 against big brands, including Amazon and Asos, for allegedly poor conditions in warehouses.

In 2017, a government select committee heard how workers at Sports Direct’s warehouse in Derbyshire were penalised for taking a short break to drink water, or for taking time off due to illness.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw’s general secretary commented: “Usdaw regularly receives feedback from Lidl’s distribution staff, who are generally unhappy about their treatment at work and say morale can be pretty low. “We urge the company to meet with Usdaw.”


Grenfell Photo By Flickr Chiraljon

307 high-rises still have dangerous cladding

By Belinda Liversedge on 25 June 2020

Government will miss its deadline for removing dangerous combustible cladding from high-rise buildings, it has been revealed on the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Teacher Istock 1224902548 Izusek

Teachers say ‘not yet safe’ for more pupils to return to school

By Belinda Liversedge on 23 June 2020

Three quarters of teachers are being expected to clean their own classrooms and equipment, amid concerns some schools are not implementing effective measures to control the spread of coronavirus, a survey by teachers’ union NASUWT has revealed.

Its all about prevention.jpg

Employers could face prosecution over Covid infections, say lawyers

By Belinda Liversedge on 29 June 2020

Employers who fail to protect their staff from coronavirus could face prosecution even if there are no specific laws covering their duties in a pandemic situation, leading health and safety lawyers have said.