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Poland: Solidarity with workers at LIDL

In partnership with the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarnosc", with the support of UNI Global Union.

LIDL Poland has been using anti-union tactics ever since the Solidarnosc trade union was set up in January 2013.

LIDL management has refused to meet or talk to trade union representatives despite an ongoing and serious degradation in working conditions. This includes an increasing bulk of work for a decreasing numbers of workers, higher and higher effective norms and the majority of workers being denied open-ended contracts.

As a result, in September 2013, the Commerce and Banking Secretariat of Solidarnosc carried out protests in front of LIDL stores in several Polish cities. The following month further protests saw cash registers blocked after trade union activists paid for items with large amounts of small change.

In December 2013 LIDL turned ugly, firing both the President and Deputy President of the company trade union despite this being a grave breach of the legislation in force. Solidarnosc immediately denounced LIDL's behavour and demanded an end to the harassment of trade union representatives. A boycott of LIDL stores in Poland followed in February 2014 as well as organized pickets and the distribution of leaflets inside and outside stores.

Despite further protests in March 2014, LIDL staff have seen no marked improvements in either working conditions or in the cases of the dismissed trade union activists. The management has steadfastly refused to react or respond to numerous letters and, as a result, the protest will continue and take on new forms.

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