The case of IKEA, a French subsidiary accused of creating an illegal surveillance system for its employees, including unionists, began in a criminal court in Versailles, near Paris, on Monday.
Swedish furniture company subsidiary – operated as a law firm and legally represented by its CEO and CFO Karen Hawass – He was fined 3.75 million euros (4 4.4 million).
Fifteen people are under investigation, including store executives, police officers and former executives, including former CEO Stephen Vanoverback (2010-2015) and his predecessor Jean-Louis Baylot.
The lawsuit was probably funded by the 2012 satirical weekly magazine Le Conard Enchane and the information website Mediabart. He was reprimanded by a union and fired four senior managers of the company.
The investigation came to light, according to the Versailles attorney’s office, which not only has a “spy system” of staff but also job seekers spread across the country.
According to the indictment, information was gathered from several hundred people, including unionists, and their criminal records and lifestyle were accurately analyzed.
“That fact must be taken into account. ” Adele Amara, a former FO union representative, told an IKEA store in Frankenville (Wall-D’Ois) before the trial.
“We are here today to prove that there is this kind of maneuvering in the companies that monitor the unions and especially the employees,” said Amar Laga, general secretary of the CGT union in the trade and services sector.
But according to some defense lawyers, there are several weaknesses in the investigation. Oliver Baratelli, lawyer for former HR director Claire Harry, dI condemned the “myth fabricated by the unions” and told him that he would argue for the zero of the case.
The trial is set to begin on April 2.
Lists of people
Defendants must respond to other charges Illegally collecting and disclosing personal information, violating professional confidentiality and concealing these crimes, Some of them could face up to ten years in prison.
Defendants appear for events from 2009-2012, but the prosecution claims that these practices existed in the early 2000s.
Jean-Franசois Paris, former director of risk management at IKEA France, was present at Monday’s hearing at the center of the “organization”.
According to the investigation, the Ikea subsidiary set aside a budget of 30,000 to 600,000 euros ($ 35,000 to $ 715,000) a year, sending a list of people from Paris to “inspect” private investigative agencies.
The list, which the former director claims to have received from store managers, was sent to Jean-Pierre Foras, director of Airbase, a “business consulting” company.
Jean-Pierre Forres, through police officers, has been accused of using the STIC (Organization for the Treatment of Record Crimes), also known as the computerized police file, to access confidential data.
However, the four police officers involved assured that they would not receive any financial compensation during the investigation.