Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Management in Polish Tesco stores accused of mistreating employees

Tesco has pledged to investigate claims of management malpractice after being accused of treating staff in its Polish stores "like criminals".

Employees at the supermarket giant told a Polish newspaper that they were subjected to frequent "rough and humiliating" body searches and "aggressive and degrading" behaviour from store managers.

One shop-floor worker said his manager constantly reminded him that cameras were watching him, and that he would be reported to the police if he was found eating during his shift.

"[The management team] chased everyone from my department into a meeting," he told Fakt newspaper. "The manager was unusually worked up and marched up and down the room. He threatened that, if the cameras caught anyone nibbling cheese or drinking yoghurt, they'd find themselves marching out with a police escort."

According to its annual report, Tesco has 107 stores in Poland, employing more than 20,000 staff. It plans to open another 39 during the current financial year. All stores in the country are managed by Polish nationals.

The company said it would take all possible action to correct any mismanagement.

"These allegations are very serious and where we can obtain details of these claims we will be investigating any suggestions of malpractice," a spokeswoman said.

"Tesco is committed to being a good employer, respecting the law and creating good and safe working conditions. On a day-to-day basis, we are governed by basic values and treat people how we like to be treated."