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Novartis - Spying upon employees

A.L.F. Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) | 02.05.2008 13:20 | Repression | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements

Recent scandals of Lidl, Penny, Schlecker and other companies in Germany show that spying upon employees. is common. Novartis is a dedicated and ruthless exploiter of animals, nature and mankind, also an avantgarde in spying.

Novartis Pharma GmbH of Germany received the BigBrotherAward 2007 for spying upon their employees and the resulting breach of personality rights.

It has a standard procedure of sending detectives after its sales representatives to meticulously take minutes of their visits to GPs and pharmacies. Results from a survey at the work place, which was expressly declared confidential, were returned to the employees with an appraisal from the human resources department.

Especially when it comes to the sales force, the reality seems to be closer to the state of war that was evoked a few years ago, namely when the CEO of the pharmaceutical branch of Novartis AG tried to motivate his sales representatives with slogans like "Kill To Win - No Prisoners". Even if the wording had to be toned down after protests, martial vocabulary still dominates internal communications, as one can see from conference papers of the German branch of Novartis Pharma GmbH. "The best product, the best weapons." "Street fighting." "To redline and attack the competition without compromise."

Along with the inofficial encouragement of employees to squeal on their colleagues, sleuths are being sent after sales staff to meticulously write down the details of each visit. "Seek, and ye shall find", and each find makes it easier for the company to get rid of an unwanted employee. Such continuous surveillance in violation of personality rights seems to be standard behaviour - even the works council feels a need to warn about this in one of its publications. And we might ask ourselves whether the works council shouldn't protect the employees against such measures, rather than just inform about them.

Apparently, there is some method in this carefree approach to personality rights of the employees, despite all the standards set by self-commitments. This must be the only explanation why the results of a supposedly confidential online survey, termed "self-assessment", were returned to employees a short time later: personalised, rated and with suggestions for improvement from the staff department.

A.L.F. Crime Investigation Agency (CIA)
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