Aldi is in defensive mode after last night’s Channel 4 Dispatches documentary that questioned the retailer’s HR practices. Aldi slammed the show as unbalanced and said in a statement that it only opted to show ‘selective information’.
Aldi’s Supermarket Secrets featured two undercover reporters at stores in Scotland and the North West of England. The reporters uncovered breaches in health and safety, out of date products and unrealistic time pressures on staff to stock shelves.
An Aldi spokesperson said the programme had ‘misrepresented’ the brand. The company has recently committed itself to paying the Living Wage and is already renowned for paying staff members handsomely.
“This programme misrepresents Aldi and was based upon selective information. Our customers shop with Aldi because we offer them the best products at the best prices. We are proud to have been named Which? Best Supermarket for a record fourth time.”
The documentary claimed that staff are required to arrive 15 minutes before starting a shift to walk the aisles and check stock levels, without being paid.
Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has responded to the documentary by calling on Aldi to get round the table and resolve the many issues raised by union members who work for the discount retailer and problems identified in tonight’s Dispatches programme on Channel 4.
Usdaw is recruiting Aldi staff and has, reportedly, heard a string of complaints about poor health and safety, bullying, late shift changes and unrealistic productivity targets.
“Usdaw is the trade union for Aldi workers and we know that staff have significant grievances which are largely left unresolved, leading to low morale and a high turnover of personnel,” Usdaw Deputy General Secretary Paddy Lillis commented.
“Trade unions are problem solvers, not problem causers and we are happy to work with Aldi to make it a better place to work. It would be very short-sighted of the company to dismiss the worrying feedback we have had from their employees.