Jumbo distribution workers bypass unions, back works council pay deal instead

Distribution workers at the Netherlands’ second largest supermarket group Jumbo have voted to accept a pay and conditions deal worked out with management by the central works council, rather than follow the official trade union line.

In total, 72% of the 3,000 distribution centre workers took part in the vote, and 96% of them backed the works council deal.

The unions had been campaigning for a new pay deal, including industrial action. But Jumbo management opted to talk to the works council rather than the unions themselves to solve the dispute.

Chief executive Frits van Eerd said in a statement that the agreement which has been struck is ‘unique and among the best in the sector’. The support for the works council deal shows that Jumbo had taken the right step in talking directly to it, he said.

The new agreement gives workers a 1% pay rise backdated to February 2018 and a further 1.5% next year.

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