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Swedish furniture multinational Ikea hired private detectives to access French police records to snoop on employees and dissatisfied customers, according to trade unionists at the company.
An Ikea France spokesperson promised to investigate the charges, made in the muckraking weekly Le Canard enchaîné, but refused to confirm or deny them.
The paper published what it said were email exchanges between the head of Ikea’s risk-management department, Jean-François Paris, and Yann Messian of private investigator Sûreté Internationale about gaining access to the police’s controversial database, Stic.
Stic has been accused of being a compilation of unreliable files on criminals, victims and even witnesses.
Sûreté Internationale offered to access the files for 80 euros a time and also to consult a database of vehicle owners.
Ikea France allegedly asked for information on a customer who was suing it for 4,000 euros and for the name of the owner of a car that approached a site where it planned to open a shop.
It also asked for information on job applicants and a union activist accused of an “anti-globalisation discourse” and old-fashioned, hardline union methods.