Albert Heijn distribution centre workers go on strike

Stockpiling led to empty shelves at the start of the crisis. Photo: Brandon Hartley
The strike may lead to empty shelves. Photo: Brandon Hartley

Workers at Albert Heijn distribution centres have gone on strike over pay, which may result in empty supermarket shelves.

Workers at Geldermalsen, Pijnacker and at the AH headquarters in Zaandam downed tools on Sunday following the supermarket’s refusal to agree to a 14.3% raise and an extra net €100 a month. Albert Heijn is not prepared to go beyond 6% and another 2% from January.

Union FNV also wants new workers to be paid double on Sundays whereas Albert Heijn wants to halve the Sunday bonus.

FNV official Levin Zühlke-van Hulzen said over half of the 500 workers at the Geldermalsen centre went on strike. ‘We knew people wanted to take action but we are positively surprised at the turnout,’ he said.

Two more centres, at Tilburg and Zwolle, are expected to join the strike which is projected to last four days.

Zühlke-van Hulzen said work at the centre had slowed down and that ‘shelves would remain empty’,  starting with fresh produce.

A spokesperson for Albert Heijn said that supermarkets are well stocked because of King’s Day on Thursday but that no extra goods have been delivered because of the strike.

Albert Heijn employs some 4,000 people at its five distribution centres.

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