The judgement by Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) prevented Lidl from stopping warehouse staff employed at the company’s Bridgend distribution centre from having a union represent their interests.
GMB national secretary Justin Bowden accused Lidl of “union busting” and called the ruling a “massive victory for rights” at work.
“Today's ruling opens the gates to not only improving employees’ pay and terms and conditions at the Bridgend site,” said Bowden.
“It’s also a major victory for the GMB's campaign for a trade union voice at the workplace.
“The suggestion that Lidl's workers do not need the option of a trade union to stick up for them and fight for their interests is baloney, pure and simple.”
‘Baloney, pure and simple’
The union called for a ballot to be organised to allow warehouse operatives to decide whether GMB should be formally recognised for collective bargaining purposes at Lidl’s Bridgend distribution centre.
But Lidl said the ruling was disappointing and was considering lodging an appeal.
“As a responsible retailer, we are committed to ensuring that our employees receive a high level of internal support and are provided with entitlements that go above and beyond statutory standards,” said a Lidl spokesman.
“We maintain the belief that our employees are fairly represented within the business, without having to engage with unions and creating a fragmented workforce.”
“We are dedicated to nurturing a collaborative environment that is based on open and direct lines of communication.”
But the retailer was hostile towards the union, claimed GMB Wales and South West regional secretary John Phillips
“Regrettably, Lidl continues to show both hostility towards GMB and shameful disregard for the wishes of its own workforce,” claimed Phillips.
“Lidl's management should recognise that organised trade unionism, and strong levels of employee involvement, goes alongside high levels of productivity and commercial success.
“Lidl must now do the right thing and engage in constructive dialogue with us to ensure the company’s workers can be balloted fairly.”