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(Since I was still working in Lidl, I used an alias in the first email but revealed my identity in the second one.)


From: Frank L. Ludwig
Date: 08 February 2007 18:28
To: erinfo@entemp.ie
Subject: Enforcement of Working Time Act in Lidl

Dear Sirs and Madams,

I am working for Lidl, and in our store, as in all other Lidl stores in the country, almost all employment laws are breached on a regular basis.
My main concerns are
- unpaid overtime (up to 5 hours/day, occasionally even more)
- denial of the minimum rest period on a regular basis (some employees work from 5am until 10am plus from 8pm until 10pm for five consecutive days on a regular basis; and that's only the hours on their rota, they actually might be staying indefinitely longer)
- denial of breaks (on occasions the first ten minute break can only be taken after 8 or more hours)

I would, at least at this stage, not consider a personal complaint since I hope to get out of this job very soon - and, of course, I'd be scared of retributions just like any other employee. But rather than making it my own case, I would love to see Irish employment laws implemented in all Lidl stores, and I was wandering if it would be possible to send inspectors into them.
Many breaches could be detected easily - a look at the payroll or the rota will disclose dozens of breaches of the Working Time Act regarding the minimum rest period, and on a busy day (especially on Mondays and Fridays when the 'specials' come in) staff can be found on the shop floor after 12 at noon who, according to the payroll, have already finished at 10am.

I would be very grateful if it was possible to inspect the stores of Lidl, and I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Yours sincerely,

Jim Cullen


From: ERINFO@entemp.ie
Date: 09 February 2007 10:37
To: Frank L. Ludwig
Subject: Re : Enforcement of Working Time Act in Lidl - Ref No : 2007/05253

Employment Regulation Orders and all conditions relating to the Retail Grocery sector are enforced by the Labour Inspectors of this Department. These Inspectors have powers to enter premises, inspect wage sheets and other records, interview the employers and workers concerned, recover arrears and, if necessary, take legal proceedings against and employer who is in breach of an ERO.

A written complaint can be sent to the Labour Inspectors at:
The Labour Inspectorate
Davitt House
65A Adelaide Road
Dublin 2

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact this Unit at the numbers below.

Regards

Liam F Ryan
Employment Rights Information Unit

Tel: 01 631 3131
Lo-Call: 1890 201 615


From: Frank L. Ludwig
Date: 25 March 2007 19:42
To: ERINFO@entemp.ie
Subject: Breaches of Working Time Act in Lidl/Sligo

Dear Sirs and Madams,

I have contacted you a few weeks ago about permanent breaches of the Working Time Act and other employment laws in the Lidl stores in Ireland. At the time I was still working there, so I wasn't able to point out the particular store (since I would have been the most obvious suspect).

As I mentioned, Lidl stores break the law everywhere, and it certainly would be worth to send inspectors to all of them. However, the one I worked for was the Lidl store in Sligo (Cranmore Road) where the main breaches consist of permanent denials of the daily minimum rest period and unpaid overtime.
A good few members of staff are forced to work double shifts on a regular basis - the evening shift from 8pm to 10pm (though it might end as late as 12pm), followed by the night shift which starts at 5am and (supposedly) ends at 10am. Many of my former colleagues have to work these shifts all week long, which means they are denied their minimum rest period for five consecutive days (!) on a regular basis.
These breaches will be easy to detect for your inspectors since one glance at the weekly rota and the payroll will state the obvious. And if your inspectors visit on a busy day, they will also find employees on the shop floor who, according to the payroll data, have already finished and are forced to work unpaid overtime.

In the interest of my former colleagues I would be obliged if you could inspect the Lidl store in Sligo!

Sincerely yours,

Frank L. Ludwig


From: ERINFO@entemp.ie
Date: 27 March 2007 10:18
To: Frank L. Ludwig
Subject: Re : Breaches of Working Time Act in Lidl/Sligo - Ref No : 2007/06022

Frank,
I need you to fill out an official Labour Inspectorate complaint form. Also, if you know anyone else who would be willing to make a statement to back up your complaint could you please get them to fill in the form as well. You can add additional sheets if necessary.

The necessary forms are enclosed.*

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact this Unit at the numbers below.

Regards

Daragh McCauley
Employment Rights Information Unit
Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment


*They were not.


From: Daragh_McCauley@entemp.ie
Date: 27 March 2007 10:29
To: Frank L. Ludwig
Subject:

Frank,
could you please send me your address.

Daragh McCauley
Employment Rights Information Unit


From: Frank L. Ludwig
Date: 28 March 2007 19:50
To: Daragh_McCauley@entemp.ie
Subject: RE:

Dear Daragh,

thanks very much for your email. Unfortunately, it arrived without the mentioned attachment, and I'd be obliged if you could email the forms again.

Furthermore, I am sure that at least one of my former colleagues will be willing to make a statement as well.

My address is
Frank L. Ludwig
8 Knappagh Road
Sligo

All the best,

Frank L. Ludwig


From: Frank L. Ludwig
Date: 09 April 2007 16:21
To: ERINFO@entemp.ie
Subject: Re: Re : Breaches of Working Time Act in Lidl/Sligo - Ref No : 2007/06022

Dear Daragh,

as I mentioned in my last email, I would be delighted to fill out any necessary forms (and so would some of my former colleagues), provided they are being made accessible to us.

As I pointed out in my last email (to which you didn't reply yet), the mentioned forms were not attached to your email, and I would be obliged if you could mail them to me.

Thank you,

Frank L. Ludwig


From: Daragh_McCauley@entemp.ie
Date: 10 April 2007 12:03
To: Frank L. Ludwig
Subject: Re : Re: Re : Breaches of Working Time Act in Lidl/Sligo - Ref No : 2007/06022 - Ref No : 2007/06222

I asked you to supply me with your address in another e-mail but you never got back to me. Could toy please send it on to me today and I will send you the relevant documents for completion.

Daragh McCauley.


From: Frank L. Ludwig
Date: 11 April 2007 18:42
To: Daragh_McCauley@entemp.ie
Subject: Re: Re : Re: Re : Breaches of Working Time Act in Lidl/Sligo - Ref No : 2007/06022 - Ref No : 2007/06222

I did send you an email with my postal address on March 28th; however, here it is again:

Frank L. Ludwig
8 Knappagh Road
Sligo

Thanks very much,

Frank L. Ludwig


From: Frank L. Ludwig
Date: 26 May 2007 16:05
To: Daragh_McCauley@entemp.ie
Subject: Re: Re : Re: Re : Breaches of Working Time Act in Lidl/Sligo - Ref No : 2007/06022 - Ref No : 2007/06222

After I pointed out the permanent breaches of employment laws in Lidl in general and in Lidl/Sligo in particular, you informed me that you have no authority to send inspectors into Lidl unless I filled out an official Labour Inspectorate complaint form. In reply I have asked you for an official Labour Inspectorate complaint form and provided you with my postal address on March 28th and, after you seemed to have lost that email, again on April 11th. In case you have misplaced that email as well, here is my postal address for the 3rd time:

Frank L. Ludwig
8 Knappagh Road
Sligo


The form was finally sent out after this last email - but that, of course, doesn't mean that the Department will take any action, and as of August 2017 (more than ten years after receiving the complaint form by registered post), it hasn't.


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