The former CEO of Ikea France, Jean-Louis Baillot, was given a two-year suspended jail term and €50,000 fine after the French subsidiary was found to have used private detectives and police officers to collect private data on staff.
The Swedish furniture retail giant IKEA is accused of having set up a system of spying to obtain confidential information on job applicants, staff - including trade union representatives - and customers in France. Now, after eight years of investigation, judges have ordered that IKEA France should stand trial on spying charges in its own right as a corporation. Fifteen people, including two former chief executives of the French corporation, Jean-Louis Baillot and Stefan Vanoverbeke, are also to face trial. The allegations include claims that data on individuals was illegally obtained from French police files via police officers. Mediapart's legal affairs correspondent Michel Deléan reports.
The Franco-Canadian group Orpea, which runs private retirement homes and health clinics, has been using “observers” to spy on its workforce and in particular trade union activities, according to documents seen by Mediapart. When the French trade union in question, the CGT, decided to make a formal legal complaint, the group offered it a deal worth four million euros in return for withdrawing the complaint and keeping quiet about the snooping – a deal the union ultimately refused. Mediapart can also reveal that the three “spies” used by the healthcare firm came from a company which is linked to allegations that furniture retailer Ikea spied on its staff and customers in France. Mathilde Goanec and Mathilde Mathieu report.
In a significant development of the spying scandal engulfing Swedish furniture retail giant Ikea, Mediapart has exclusively obtained evidence that the managing director of Ikea France personally took part in an underhand espionage operation that illegally trawled for information into the personal life of one of the company’s senior staff. Documents accessed by Mediapart and published here reveal how Jean-Louis Baillot, head of the company’s French operations from 1996 to 2009, and who is now Ikea’s director for international commercial operations, was aware, approved of and encouraged the surveillance methods used by Ikea France security chief Jean-François Paris to hound and bait the company’s deputy director of communications and interior store planning, Virginie Paulin. Fabrice Arfi, Michaël Hajdenberg and Mathilde Mathieu report.
by Fabrice Arfi, Michaël Hajdenberg and Mathilde Mathieu