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21 Jun 2021

Associated Press

Italy: Union leader killed by truck while protesting poor labour conditions in Lidl's logistics sector

"Union leader killed in Italy when truck forces picket line", 18 June 2021

A labor union leader was killed in northern Italy when a truck apparently broke through a picket line outside a supermarket warehouse facility Friday and struck him...

...According to Italian news reports and union officials, about 20 people who work in logistics for the international supermarket chain Lidl were protesting outside the facility when a truck driver trying to leave the facility drove through a line of picketers blocking a gate. An unidentified witness told Italian state TV the vehicle struck Belakhdim and dragged him for several yards...

...Officers from a Carabinieri station in the nearby city of Novara came for the driver, who was jailed for investigation of alleged vehicular homicide and failing to provide assistance to the union leader, LaPresse said.

The picketers were pushing for better working conditions overall for those in the supermarket logistics sector, which generally includes packing and loading merchandise and food.

Two other protesters were also reported hit by the truck and suffered minor injuries...

...Lidl Italia issued a statement expressing condolences to Belakhdim’s family. It said the truck involved was from a third-party supplier and not one of Lidl’s vehicles.

As for the workers’ complaints, Lidl said “the company reiterates that it has always been in constant rapport with the main union organizations, aimed at dialogue and reciprocal comparison.”