Delhaize Belgium is trialling a new internal organisation, that should fill empty shelves faster and make sure stores become more profitable. A test with fifteen stores is ongoing, the other self-owned stores should follow next year - if the trial is successful and the unions agree.
Staff will have to be more flexible in the new organisation: they are divided into five departments and two teams, one focused on customers (like cashiers) and the other focused on products (like orderpickers). The organisation will not make a distinction between different categories, meaning staff in the cosmetics department can as of now also be asked to work in the food aisles as well.
The first results are positive, spokesperson Roel Dekelver told Belgian newspaper De Tijd: "The targets of the new structure have already been achieved". These include a faster replenishment of empty shelves, leading to more attractive supermarkets and a higher profitability.
Not all the unions are happy with the new plans: while the socialist BBTK embraces the change (as management has added guarantees about job certainty and wages to the deal), liberal ACLBV and christian-democrat ACV do not agree. ACV spokesperson Koen Depunder says the deal is unclear for the employees, who would "not know what the new tasks entail, while not enough training is planned and no objective evaluation criteria are in place".