French supermarket Casino found breaking the law

The supermarket giant Casino is facing more backlash after a labour inspection of its store in Angers which controversially opened on Sundays without its staff found that it was using illegal working practices.

Inspectors ruled that the sub-contracted security staff were leaving their posts to help customers at the self-service tills, a breach of strict labour laws.

Casino had circumvented the law on Sunday rest for employees by opening its doors without staff at its store in Angers.

Instead, they have been using a combination of self-service tills, smartphone apps, a few external supervisors and subcontracted security staff.

The company currently has 200 stores with automatic tills and no checkout staff for large periods of the day, as well as 80 small or medium-sized shops with extended hours in the evening or on Sunday afternoons.

The Sunday opening of the shop in Angers caused an outcry among trade unions as well as among small businesses and elected officials. A demonstration gathered hundreds of protestors on the first Sunday opening, with ten police officers needed to help to control the queues at the checkouts.

However, the supermarket has been in breach of the law since its first Sunday opening on August 25. While visiting the shop, labour inspectors found that the security guards were leaving their assigned posts to help customers with the self-scanning machines, making their employment illegal.

Casino does not intend to close their shops on Sundays but to correct the irregularities. On Sunday September 15, hundreds of people gathered once more outside of the shop in Angers to protest. 

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