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IKEA fined $ 1 million for spying on workers in France

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The judgment was announced Tuesday by a court in Versailles. IKEA’s French subsidiary was on trial alongside 15 people, including former executives, for an alleged “spy system” deployed against current and potential employees between 2009 and 2012, according to court documents.
Former IKEA France CEO Jean-Louis Baillot was sentenced to two years in prison and fined € 50,000 ($ 60,500), according to the judgment. Baillot denied any wrongdoing during the trial.
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The judgment details how IKEA France paid private investigators to obtain private information about current and potential employees. Court documents also reveal inquiries into a “model employee” who “became very militant overnight”.

In another case, according to prosecutors, an internal audit recommended “a discreet and thorough investigation” of an employee to uncover any activity in his life that could lead to a police investigation and legal grounds for removing him from the company.

“IKEA France has always strongly condemned these old facts,” the company said in a statement following the verdict, “and apologized for this situation which has seriously undermined the values ​​and ethical standards of the company “. The company said it has measures in place to prevent the recurrence of such practices.

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The French union Confédération générale du travail (CGT), one of the plaintiffs in the case, called the verdict “a great victory for the workers”.

The sanctions against IKEA and some of its former executives “will serve as an example and dissuade companies from spying on their employees and union representatives in the future,” said a statement from the CGT.

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