IKEA has fired employees of cameras found ‘hidden’ in toilets.
The CCTV was found behind ceiling panels in the loos of both men and women at their distribution center in Peterborough, Cambs.
And when employees confronted the furniture giant’s owners, they admitted that the lenses had been there since 2015.
A member of staff reported noticing an infra-red light through a gap in the panels when the lights were off.
After this, the employees exposed several cameras.
Employees claim the cameras were reportedly installed in 2015 to help Ikea deal with drug-taking rumors among some employees.
The footage has been retrieved from the hard drive and handed over to third party investigators.
If Ikea is found to be invading employees’ privacy, they will “submit themselves to the authorities,” employees were told.
The employees were so outraged by this discovery that some members left their jobs.
Shannon Bodyly, a former employee who left the company in July, said she felt “violated” by his presence.
Former staff member said: “I feel insecure, I feel violated”
She continued: “If I find out that I am on that footage I think it will affect me a lot. It has already affected me.
“I want them [Ikea] Be prosecuted.
“They can’t get away with it – it’s not fair and it violates your privacy in the workplace.”
Another three-year-old female employee was so shocked that she immediately quit.
The mother, who is in her 20s, said: “I happily worked there, but I am so hurt by what has happened that I cannot step out there again.
“It goes against promoting myself as a caring employee of Ikea. Now Ikea is guilty of a horrific breach of personal privacy.
“The thought of being filmed in secret while you go about your personal business is sickening.
“I couldn’t live knowing that I would have to face bosses who would be watching footage of me using the toilet.
“I know everyone who works there is disappointed and angry.”
Another source said, “Everyone is in shock.
“Consultation has been offered to the employees. Many Muslim women were shedding tears.
“No one can believe this is going on.
“We were told at the emotional briefing that they were trying to crack down on any fraud in the drug testing of the workforce.
“But what on earth was firm thinking. It’s a scam.”
It is being said that the activists are now contemplating taking legal action.
In June, a court ordered Ikea to pay a fine of £860,000 after being found guilty of spying on employees in France.
Ikea France was accused of using private detectives and police officers to collect personal data of employees.
This included illegally accessing their criminal records to investigate job applicants.
The Inca Group – which owns most of Ikea’s stores around the world – apologized and condemned the practices.
According to data protection laws, CCTV cameras should only be used in “exceptional circumstances” in areas where you would normally expect privacy, such as in changing rooms or toilets.
An IKEA spokesperson said, “We take the safety of our coworkers very seriously.
“The Peterborough Distribution Center is a large warehouse facility where forklift trucks and HGVs are in regular operation.
“In support of our health and safety policy, we have a drug testing policy as per industry standards.
“The cameras were installed in 2015 to detect alleged activity that could result in serious injury to co-workers, and to maintain a high level of security at the site.
“The cameras were only for filming the activity in the roof space or in the corridors.
“All of these cameras have since been removed and, until an independent investigation, we are unable to share any further details.”