Monday, 20. October 2014
08. 01. 14. - 14:00
Managers at the branch of electronic discount chain Media Markt in the Austrian town of Krems have come under fire from trade unions after they allegedly forced 30 staff to allow their bags to be searched and also to have a body search carried out.
It was not clear from the complaint why the controls had been carried out. But the trade union is demanding an investigation to expose all the details and is urging the company management to inform employees of exactly what their rights are in such circumstances.
Union spokesman Peter Stattmann said that his information was that staff had been stopped on a stairwell and ordered not only to allow their bags and their jackets to be searched, as if they were common criminals, but it also had to put up with having a body search. This is completely inacceptable, he added.
He said that as far as he was aware there was a law that allowed for management to request staff during work time to have their jackets or bags looked at, but not outside of work time while on their way home and certainly no right for body searches.
A spokesman for the company said that bag searches were only in certain cases possible and with the agreement of staff and that generally as far as they were concerned body searches were not allowed. They said they would look into the allegations and would speak to managers at the branch in crimes to see exactly what had happened in this particular occasion.
They said that if the allegations were correct there would be consequences.
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