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French supermarket chain Auchan apologises over swastika bags

French supermarket chain Auchan has admitted that it had sold military-style bum bags, or fanny packs as they are known in the US, bearing the Nazi swastika at its Polish stores in what it called an "oversight".

French supermarket chain Auchan apologises over swastika bags
The propagation of Nazi ideology in Poland is punishable by up to two years in prison. Photo: AFP

“Our 2018 product offerings did indeed include these bags from a Polish manufacturer, though our chain wasn't aware of it,” Auchan Poland spokeswoman Dorota Patejko told AFP.

“It was an oversight on our part, a situation that we regret,” she said, adding that the group was currently checking stores nationwide and would recall any of the bags left in stock.

“Only one bag with the Nazi symbol has been located so far. It's been pulled from shelves.”

The Gazeta Krakowska regional daily on Monday reported the case of a woman who bought one of the products in an Auchan store in the southern city of Krakow.

 

“It's sewn out of camouflage fabric and has various bits of text,” the client said, adding that she only recently realised there was a small swastika on it.

“I'm in shock. I've been walking around with a purse with a Nazi symbol for weeks,” she said told the paper.

“I never would have thought a supermarket chain would sell something like this.”

Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany in World War Two and its current laws forbid the reproducing of the Nazi swastika.

The propagation of Nazi ideology is punished by a fine or up to two years in prison.

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French supermarket boss found dead after being charged with bullying his staff

The boss of a Leclerc supermarket in eastern France has been found dead after he was charged with bullying members of his team.

French supermarket boss found dead after being charged with bullying his staff
Photo: AFP
The 58-year-old boss was found dead on Thursday in the French town of Belfort in the north eastern region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté after he had been charged with harassing his employees the previous Wednesday.
 
An investigation has been opened into the cause of death, local prosecutor Emmanuel Dupic confirmed to the French press. 
 
On Wednesday, the two owners, including the man found dead, of the Leclerc supermarket in the town of Héricourt and the commercial director had been charged with harassment against 25 employees.
 
A fourth person, the financial director, had been charged with complicity in psychological harassment.
 
According to local newspaper L'Est Républicain, the man was found dead after he had been released on bail. 
 
The owners and the commercial director of the store are suspected of “humiliating [staff members], threatening behavior and remarks that have led many employees to suffer from burn-out or take sick leave, allowing employers to declare them unfit for their positions and fire them,” said the local prosecutor. 
 
The situation came to light after an investigation took place in 2018 when 14 employees dismissed from this store filed a complaint with the police.
 
The investigation revealed that “significant moral harassment had been ongoing for nine years, with daily pressure on employees that led to physical and psychological distress”, according to the prosecutor.
 
Pregnant women and disabled staff were forced to carry out duties, including carrying heavy items, or work schedules unsuitable to their situations. 
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