striking albert heijn workers reject raise offer, grocery items could get pricier
Netherlands’ largest supermarket chain, Albert Heijn, made its latest offer on Monday evening, which would increase distribution centre employee pay by 10%. But the FNV and CNV labour unions soon turned it down, a spokesperson for the supermarket group said.
But Albert Heijn did not reveal the complete picture, the FNV said, without elaborating further on the matter.
Workers at distribution centres serving other supermarkets could consequently take industrial action as well, which may prompt grocery prices to rise further, retail and brand expert Paul Moers said.
The strike started on April 23 after discussions on a new collective agreement failed to yield satisfactory results. Workers at the group’s distribution centres demand higher wages in response to the high inflation levels in the country that have been in place for more than a year.
The striking employees also want the supermarket to ensure working conditions for new employees will not experience any degradation. For instance, Albert Heijn wanted to reduce extra pay for staff who come to work on Sundays.
Nevertheless, Albert Heijn potentially paying more money to the distribution workers could fuel inflation and make already-expensive groceries more expensive, Moers speculated. The group “has no choice but to factor this into the prices,” he added.