Retail chain Lidl spying on employees

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Discount supermarket chain Lidl is breaching the rights of its employees; cheap shopping at the stores appears to come at a price, according to Dutch daily .

Complaints by staff members, collected by the paper, highlight the working conditions at the German-based company. Lidl employees are allowed only one lavatory visit per day, unless they are wearing a "periods wristband", in which case they can go to the bathroom without restrictions. Staff are monitored by CCTV, and occasionally even shadowed by detectives.

Reports of Lidl's practices surfaced earlier in Germany, but subsided later. The practices, however, appear to have continued. Last month the FNV union distributed information leaflets among Lidl employees. A group of thirteen union shop stewards has said it will try and get the workers' rights respected by the employer.

A German director of Lidl was fired in 2009 after media revealed how the company systematically monitored employees' health records, down to which employees were hoping to get pregnant. The German branch employs some 50,000 people.

The company has not responded to the latest allegations.  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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