Mar 14, 2012

U.S. & Dutch Workers Stand Together to tell Ahold: Respect Our Rights

Last week, Dutch workers at an Ahold distribution center in the Netherlands organized a week of actions at to let Dutch consumers know that Royal Ahold - owner of U.S. grocery chains like Giant, Stop and Shop, and Martin's, is not living up to its commitments to respect workers’ rights both at home and abroad.

Giant Food worker and UFCW Local 400 member Kayla Mock along with workers from
Ahold’s distribution center and FNV Bondgenoten union members.

UFCW Local 400 member and Ahold worker Kayla Mock traveled to Amsterdam to participate in the week of action. “What I witnessed this past week is international worker solidarity at its best,” Mock said. “If we want to change the behavior of multinational companies like Ahold, it is important for workers to support each other beyond national boundaries.”

At Ahold’s Martin’s stores in Richmond, VA, workers say the company has cultivated an anti-union culture that restrains workers’ right to organize at its non-union stores. Meanwhile, workers at Ahold’s Albert Heijn distribution centers in the Netherlands endure working conditions that many believe to be unsafe.

During the week of action, workers from both countries called on the company to live up to the commitments it made in its corporate responsibility program to respect workers’ rights both in the Netherlands and abroad. Workers also spoke directly to customers about Ahold’s broken promises.

Ahold’s distribution center workers are members of FNV Bondgenoten, the largest trade union in the Netherlands with over 470,000 members in the retail, services, industrial, metal, agricultural, technique, and transport industries.

As part of their consumer outreach campaign, workers are asking Ahold customers to fill out delft tiles, which will be delivered to the company. These hand-painted tiles are popular in Dutch culture and usually offered as gifts during special occasions. UFCW members can click here to fill out their own tile.


Ronald Burkle said...

Ahold is taking over another 16 Suburban Philadelphia non-unionized Genuardi Markets and folding them into non-unionized Giant/Carlisle. With the big trouble Acme Markets is in, non-unionized Giant/Carlisle will all but control eastern Pennsylvania with strong-armed tactics. To HELL with them!!

city said...

nice opinion.. thanks for sharing.