How Albert Hagen’s strike was good news for minimum wage earners: ‘Unlimited free cut vegetables’

How Albert Hagen's strike was good news for minimum wage earners: 'Unlimited free cut vegetables'

“Of course we think it’s a shame,” he says. The company doesn’t indicate exactly how many products will have to be dumped “due to a chain disruption.” What AH wants to say: “We have been able to distribute a lot of fresh produce to other distribution centers.”

to the food bank

Albert Heijn has six distribution centers in the Netherlands. They are located in Geldermalsen, Zaandam, Pijnacker, Zwolle, Tilburg and Hoorn. Only non-perishable products are stored at Geldermalsen. So the waste issue has not played a role there in recent days. “The Zaandam and Horn are still working,” spokesman Albert Haegen said. No distribution center has completely stopped.” In this way, products that were about to expire could be distributed.

“And we were able to send more fresh produce to food banks in particular,” says the information officer. Hilma Becker from Food Bank Rotterdam has already seen additional articles coming. “Albert Heijn is always a key supplier for us. What they offer varies. But this week three full trucks arrived – with about 21 pallets per truck – and that’s really a lot more than usual.”

What is extra in particular? “The filling is with sliced ​​veggies. Very nice, because we can’t get enough fruit and veggies,” says Baker.

Just had a rush because of the expiration date on those products. “Different food banks in the area have been informed that they can collect more cut vegetables.”

Unlimited sliced ​​vegetables

In addition to these distribution points, where minimums can pick up a box each week, Rotterdam also has two food bank supermarkets. Customers can choose their own articles there, based on a points system. “This week they were happy; they were allowed to eat as much chopped vegetables as they could.”

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Not all food banks received more products due to strikes. In the distribution center in Tilburg, for example, of which 30 distribution points have been provided, a large number of items have not been delivered. In Drachten, additional AH articles have reached the distribution point. Deventer received “a bit more vegetable produce and potatoes”, but not in large quantities.

It was announced very early yesterday morning that the unions will meet again with Albert Hagen after an improved collective bargaining agreement, possibly early next week. Thus, the strikes are, at least for the time being, off course. “Fortunately, we can resume regular supplies to stores,” a spokesperson for the supermarket chain said yesterday.

This is the reason for suspending work

Since April 22, distribution centers in Albert Hagen have been on strike. The work was first set in Geldermalsen, Pijnacker and Zaandam. This happened after the trade unions FNV and CNV issued an ultimatum.

Those unions initially demanded a wage increase of 14.3 percent, and Albert Heine offered 6.6 percent at the time. Staff were also angry that the retail chain had proposed a deterioration in terms of staffing, for example the Sunday allowance for new staff.

AH is now offering a 10 percent wage increase and wants to put an end to the previously proposed decline. That is why the talks will resume next week.

Earlier this week, experts told RTL Z that the strikes would soon cost Albert Hagen and parent company Ahold Delhaize €10m in profits.

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