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Ikea sentenced for espionage: a “historic” decision rejoices a lawyer of the civil parties



The Ikea chain of stores was sentenced on Tuesday, June 15, to a fine of one million euros and several tens of thousands of euros in damages to hundreds of its employees. Jean-Louis Baillot, former CEO of the furniture giant also receives a two-year suspended sentence and a 50,000 euro fine. In question, a “widespread policy of unofficial investigations and unfair and unlawful searches on employees and customers”, according to the judges of the judicial court of Versailles. Anne-Solène Bouvier is the lawyer for around thirty civil parties, in particular the CGT and Force Ouvrière unions. Guest of franceinfo on Tuesday, June 15, she retains a decision “history in criminal labor law”.

franceinfo: What do you remember from this court decision, which resulted in less harsh sentences than what was required?

Anne-Solène Bouvier: What I take away from this decision first of all is that it is historic. It is truly a landmark decision in criminal labor law. Never before has a company of this magnitude been condemned for this kind of practices, which are occult practices that destroy the lives of employees since they spy on their lives, they strip them, they allow information to be obtained on them for fire them if they become embarrassing, as was the case with Adel Amara who was particularly targeted by the “flash audit”.

This is a very strong message sent to all companies, telling them “we cannot spy on employees with impunity, that’s what it costs”

Me Anne-Solène Bouvier

to franceinfo

So it is a symbol, a first to the character of example?

Absolutely, there is an exemplary character. This is a very strong message sent to all companies telling them “you can’t spy on employees with impunity, that’s what it costs”. You will not be able to hide yourself by saying that they were isolated acts, you will not be able to hide behind the responsibility of a few natural persons who were your employees. What they do engages you and you are the guarantors of the privacy of the employees, you cannot in any way deny your responsibilities.

In condemning the company itself, there is also the idea that this is not an individual initiative of the CEO of the time, even if he was convicted?

What is very important is that the judgment which is extremely well motivated, dismantled this whole chain of interveners, whether it is the CEO, whether it is the HRD, whether it is the “security man” of Ikea . And everyone saw their responsibility in this institutionalized system brought to light. Everyone with this judgment is going to take their part, where everyone was trying to pass the buck.



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