Unite has called a solidarity protest for Pay Equality outside Lidl on High Street, Belfast this Thursday (October 8th) at 5pm
October 5th: Unite Regional Officer, Susan Fitzgerald, confirmed that despite union representation, Lidl has dismissed a member of staff for Facebook comments questioning their policy of paying its workers in Northern Ireland less than they are paying equivalent workers in England, Scotland and Wales:
“The decision to dismiss this worker will have a devastating impact on the young person concerned. His only crime was to post comments on Facebook questioning the fairness of Lidl pay policy, referencing details already in the public domain and which had already caused widespread public revulsion at the German-owned retailer.
“This vindictive decision by management demonstrates that Lidl is running scared of public opinion. They know there is a widespread public revulsion over their unfair policy of paying workers in Northern Ireland less than they do workers in England, Scotland and Wales. This decision will only exacerbate that.
“There is no legal or moral justification for paying workers in Northern Ireland less than workers who do the same work in Britain. In trying to justify this position Lidl has sought to mislead the media by introducing the red-herring claim that they pay workers the UK Living Wage of £7.85 however we have members working for the company who continue to be paid significantly less than that.
“We are engaging with our legal counsel to bring forward a potential claim against this pay discrimination and we have also engaged with local political leaders who have agreed to communicate their concerns directly to Lidl’s German senior corporate management team.
“Lidl believes that it can succeed through adopting bully-boy tactics to threaten those members of staff who publicly question their pay policy but they are mistaken: the workers do not stand alone. Alongside our efforts to overturn this decision through the appeals process, Unite will build a campaign to secure Pay Equality for workers in Northern Ireland.
“We are calling all trade unionists, community activists and shoppers to support an initial solidarity ‘Pay Equality’ protest outside the Belfast High Street Lidl this coming Thursday (8th October) at 5pm”, Ms Fitzgerald concluded.