Lidl staff

Source: Lidl

Lidl is among the supermarkets being urged to give staff Boxing Day off

A workers’ rights campaign is hoping to inundate supermarket bosses with emails urging them to close stores on Boxing Day to give staff time off.

Organise – a campaigning network of over a million people across the UK – is urging its members to directly email CEOs with a standard message.

The online campaign platform, which raised £570,000 in seed funding last year, has also gained over 50,000 signatures in a petition urging PM Boris Johnson to close all supermarkets on Boxing Day.

The latest action follows a survey by the group which found 98% of over 1,000 respondents believed all retail and supermarket workers should have the option of Boxing Day off.

“Supermarkets are quiet on Boxing Day and exhausted staff are asking for the day off,” Organise said in an email to members.

“After another tough year keeping the shelves stocked through panic buying, extra cleaning and lockdown rules, it’s the least bosses can do.

“Last year thousands of us pressured the CEOs of big supermarkets to give staff Boxing Day off for the first time in years – and it worked. One by one, national supermarket chains delivered a proper break over Christmas.

“It’s so inspiring to see lots of the supermarkets doing the same this year. There are only four big supermarkets who haven’t said anything yet – Tesco, Co-op, Lidl and Asda.

“If everyone reading this email right now takes 10 seconds to email the CEOs of big supermarkets, they’d be inundated.” 

Organise members are invited to send a standard email to bosses of the four supermarkets by clicking a button in an online form. It’s addressed to Ken Murphy, Christian Härtnagel and Steve Murrells, the CEOs of Tesco, Lidl GB and Co-op respectively. It’s also addressed to Zuber Issa, one of the two brothers who own Asda, and to the supermarket’s senior VP and chief people officer, Hayley Tatum.

The email says: “As a proud customer, I hope you close your supermarkets on Boxing Day. Staff have worked so hard this year and deserve two days with their family.

Morrisons, M&S and Waitrose have all responded and are closing on Boxing Day to give staff the day off – please will you do the same?”

The email includes quotes from supermarket workers. “Under these unprecedented circumstances it would be the best gesture you could give. Let retail workers have two days with loved ones or remember those who are no longer with us,” says one.

The email ends: “I look forward to hearing your response.”

The Grocer asked each of the supermarkets for a comment.

A Co-op spokesman said: “We will close earlier than usual on Christmas Eve and open for reduced hours on Boxing Day and on New Year’s Day.

“Our stores will be run by colleagues who volunteer to work. Not all of our colleagues celebrate Christmas, and many tell us they want to work and they will help serve their local communities, be that key workers looking for a meal on the go or families topping up on essentials during the festive period.”

Lidl said the majority its stores would close on Boxing Day while those in Scotland and inside the M25 would open for reduced hours.