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Dublin Opinion >>
the LIDL supermarket spy story
The German magazine "Stern" published a report on the supermarket LIDL in the last week which alledged the corporation had been spying on its employees. The story is now being taken up across Europe, where indeed workers shop in & work for the LIDL chain. The allegations are being supported daily by more and more evidence as can be seen by perusing the original articles at "Stern" complete with photos, a vid, extracts from internal memos, et cetera, so long & so forth.
Included in the internal memos were suggestions that menstruating women employees wear a coloured headband so managers could allow them extra "toilet time", time which would be denied male or non-menstruating employees. It gets worse.., "tattoos"........."wants higher wages"........"junkie friends".........
CCTV guards against theft, pilfering and un-scheduled menstruation at LIDL.
According to a report by the German weekly magazine Stern, Lidl has been spying for months on employees in several of its outlets. The company has allegedly been hiring detectives to investigate workers, both on the job, on cigarette and coffee breaks -- and even on the toilet. The explosive report triggered a government probe into the allegations on Wednesday. A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry of the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg described the claims as "unparalleled," telling SPIEGEL ONLINE: "The supervisory authority has launched an investigation into possible violations of privacy protection rules." The ministry has jurisdiction because Lidl's corporate headquarters are located in the city of Neckarsulm in that state. The spokesperson said investigations could take several weeks and wanted to make no predictions about their possible outcome or consequences. The bulk of the reports cited by Stern come from Lidl outlets in the state of Lower Saxony, plus individual ones from the states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein. The observation practices were routine, the report alleges: A detective would install between five and 10 miniature cameras in the store, telling the manager it was an anti-theft measure, and then use the technology to observe employees' behaviour. Stern claims to have obtained hundreds of pages of transcripts that document the movements and conversations of employees, for example: "Wednesday, 4:45 p.m.: Although Ms. N. has not accomplished much in the food and reduced wares department, she takes her break right on time. She sits together with Ms. L.; they talk about their wages, bonuses and paid overtime. Ms. N. hopes that her pay has been transferred already because she desperately needs money for this evening (reason = ?)". The transcripts also get into employees' private lives ("Her circle of friends consists mainly of junkies") and appearances ("Ms. M. has tattoos on both lower arms"). In their tone and detail, the observation logs invite comparison to those of the Stasi, the East German secret police......
English translation pages on Spiegel :-
German pages from "Stern", basically the whole thing is there. http://www.stern.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/unternehmen/...?vs=1
Vid - coverup - denial from LIDL boss - reams of extracts from internal memos & comparison to the Stassi. So far LIDL denying the stories are only admitting secret cameras in locations in Germany & the Czech republic. But "Stern" really has got its teeth into this & today the story is all over Europe in every language. Surveillance of workers as well as honesty test & the utterly appalling invasion of intimacy which monitoring the menstrual cycle of workers means is an affront to our collective rights & an insult to our class which is just too cheap to bear .
I'd suggest an immediate boycott or campaign of actions against LIDL stores.
pick-up in other press :
English language original -
English language translation -
LIDL ireland :-
This week's "Stern" - the LIDL STASSI story. a must buy for workers.