Employees are sounding the Alarm: Lidl brings the life of one's own people in danger

attracts When Marian Meszaros goes to work, your Uniform and behind the meat counter, washes over you each and every day with an uneasy feeling. For years, the

Employees are sounding the Alarm: Lidl brings the life of one's own people in danger

attracts When Marian Meszaros goes to work, your Uniform and behind the meat counter, washes over you each and every day with an uneasy feeling. For years, the 63-year-old works in the meat Department of Best Market, one of the LidI-run supermarket chain, about 30 minutes from New York City.

Since one of your colleagues a Covid-19 is ill, she feels increasingly uncomfortable. "I go to work every day and risking my life," she says, annoyed. Only by rumors, you have come to know of the infection case. Lidl have informed the staff until weeks later about the incident. "I have the feeling that we don't care about anyone," says Meszaros in a Radio broadcast on WNYC.

"must, Perhaps, also believes the first step of a die"

Meszaros, LidI wanted to make at the expense of the employees Profit. They regularly do Overtime, but receive in return, neither more nor adequate work protection from Lidl made. Not even cleaned the Shop had been known to be the Case.

Only two of the 27 in the Metropolitan area of New York-based branches had been closed in the last few weeks, for the purpose of basic cleaning - but only after several Lidl employees were died of the Virus.

still toilets for the Public are accessible, the break room is dirty total. "Perhaps we must also die with us only until the branch is cleaned up," complains Meszaros.

The answer is: wage reductions and cancellations

Marian Meszaros is not the only supermarket employee who criticized their working conditions. Three million US citizens work in the American food retail. Many of them under adverse conditions, says the Union, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which has around 1.3 million members. More than 10,000 supermarket employees would have been infected in the past weeks, also due to a lack of protection and lack of transparency - with the Coronavirus, calculates UFCW. 68 of them are now deceased. to strengthen

Instead of the work safety measures, and salaries to raise a lot of retailers only have the costs in mind, complained the Union in a 100-page fire letter to 49 U.S. supermarkets. "Amazon, Whole Foods, Kroger and other companies have shamelessly announced to cut their workers at the Front the wages," said UFCW President Marc Perrone Recently in a press interview."Even though sales rise to new record highs." At the same time the number of infections and deaths would be concealed cases aware, employees are silenced. "Amazon has even fired the employees that were brave enough to raise their voice."

competitor Aldi as a "shining example"

That the retail company does not use particularly for your employees, also know Daniel Schneider. The sociology Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has studied the impact of the pandemic on the working conditions of 8000 supermarket staff. "Many of you had to work before the outbreak of the Coronavirus in precarious conditions", says the scientist. Not even half of all the U.S. employees, retail employees about the continued payment of wages to receive in the event of illness.

Now, in the crisis, although many of the companies health and safety measures to improve and super markets, relatively often cleaned. Compared with other industries, the retailers were, however, relatively little in safety equipment, such as masks and gloves available. Better it would be in Hotels, drugstores and pharmacies, the measures had been significantly increased. Also Lidl's rival Aldi sharp in many areas a positive point of view.

to continue to pay wages?

Meszaros is not criticised only the lack of cleaning in the of Lidl-run supermarkets in the New York Metropolitan area. Also measures to keep your Distance would not be enforced, and far too many customers left at the same time in the branches in.

Also from the state of New York arranged paid sick leave take it Lidl is not serious. The to officially to all those who have been infected, potentially or actually, with the Coronavirus.

Instead of 14 days as from the U.S. health authority, arranged, had been offered Meszaros, however, only five unpaid days because you have shown a week after contact with the infected employees are still no symptoms.

Others would have, in turn, get the two-week break approved, about Martha Guerra, whose colleagues had died after infection with the Virus. LidIs personnel Department assured her, however, no continued payment of wages.

pittance instead of hazard pay

"The Lidl in writing of the measures announced do not correspond to what we find employees in the stores," says Nathalia Alejandra Varela of the civil rights organization Latino Justice. The lawyer representing some of the employees in the fight against the company. Data from China show that the supermarket employees would have a 450-fold higher risk of developing Covid-19 as the customers.

Nevertheless, Lidl would be the only one of dozens of American retailers, no risk allowance figures. The wages of many employees was often far below the subsistence level. "LidIs practices bring to the lives of employees in danger." Latino Justice has filed a formal complaint with the New York attorney General's office.

Instead of replying to a Statement

Also, Lidl even if you have confronted with the allegations. The allegations the company decided. An Interview, however, is rejected on request with reference to an official Statement. In the Letter, the company will do everything it can to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees. "The allegations do not correspond to the actions we have taken during this public health emergency".

Not only employees over the age of 65 and actually develop the employee was granted paid sick leave. Also, 150 employees, who worked in close contact with the Infected, but no symptoms have shown, you would have granted a two-week, paid sick leave. In addition, we have handled more than 2000 calls from concerned employees. "We take our responsibility and the protection of our employees very seriously," is it from Lidl.

"I don't want to lose my mother,"

Marian Meszaros can do to shake only the head. Along with Latino Justice has formulated dozens of claims against the company. In addition to a risk allowance, a more thorough cleaning and better staff training it calls for, above all, more transparency. For example, employees should, in the future, within eight hours after the discovery of an infection will be informed case about the potential danger. Meszaros, it is not only their own health and that of your colleagues. "I live with my 86-Year old mother and don't want that I lose you that's why."

author: Sabrina Kessler (New York)

*The contribution of "criticism of the discounters: "LidIs practices bring to the lives of employees in danger" " is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 23 May 2020, 03:26

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