Ikea condemned in France for having workers, unionists and customers spied on
The French branch of Ikea was sentenced to pay a fine of one million euros for having spied on hundreds of people including employees and even dissatisfied customers between 2009 and 2012. The court of Versailles sentenced to prison terms with probation and also the payment of fines to various executives. Among these was the former CEO Jean-Louis Baillot, sentenced to pay a $ 50,000 fine and a two-year suspended sentence, while the prosecutor had asked for a three-year sentence, one of which to be served in prison.
According to the court, managers and managers of Ikea France stores used illicit methods to monitor their employees and in some cases also their customers, using private investigators and even police officers.
The head of risk management, Jean-Francois Paris, said the company would allocate € 530,000 to € 630,000 per year for surveillance activities, which according to prosecutor Pamela Tabardel involved 400 people. According to Paris, sentenced to one and a half years in prison with parole and payment of a fine of € 10,000, his department was acting under the orders of CEO Baillot. In one case, cited by AFP, Paris allegedly asked to know why an employee in Bordeaux had suddenly become “a protester”.
The case was brought to light in 2012 by complaints from trade unions and in an investigation published by the Mediapart portal and by Canard Enchaîné, which then led to the opening of an investigation by the French authorities. Ikea France had responded by dismissing four executives, declaring at the opening of the trial last March that it “strongly condemned” the violations of privacy. An Ikea lawyer told AFP that the court pronounced “many acquittals”, having “taken into account the efforts made by Ikea France”.
According to reports from the Associated Press, the company will face civil lawsuits filed separately by the unions and 74 employees.