Four members of staff who were sacked from Waitrose in Milngavie after being accused of stealing food have been given their jobs back.
A total of 17 employees, who worked in the store’s cafe, were suspended over the allegations and four had their contracts ended last week by supermarket chiefs.
An ipetition online which demanded for the staff to be reinstated gathered 79 signatures as we went to print, and in a miraculous u-turn we have been told that the company has gave the four members of staff their jobs back this week – although they have been moved to different departments.
However the rest of the staff are still worried that they may lose their jobs.
The petition claims that staff were ‘under harsh working conditions; often missing breaks’ and that bullying was also an issue in the department.
The staff claim they received no verbal warning from their team leader and they were immediately suspended after they got a letter from the company (John Lewis Partnership) which invited them to a disciplinary hearing.
The staff claim they were only eating food that was going to be thrown away anyway.
A video camera was installed in the kitchen to catch staff who were eating food.
When they asked their team leader if it was a video camera they claim that she told them it was an infra red camera.
One woman, who lives in the local area, said: “We ate scraps of food that were going to go in the bin such as chips that were too cold to serve and fruit that had gone past it’s best before date.
“We all received a letter which told us we had been suspended for breaking company policy and that they would carry out an investigation.
“We were escorted off the premises by staff.
“We don’t think we have been treated fairly, it’s double standards because most of the staff have consumed food at some point including the team leader who often drinks espresso shots.
“One member of staff who was previously caught eating bacon just got a written warning.
“This was a very heavy handed way to treat us and we feel that we were stabbed in the back by our team leader.
“Customer service was not an issue, we knew our jobs. We had many regular customers who we knew by name and what they ordered most days.”
Another local man said: “For a big company like this to treat people in this way in this day and age is shocking.
“They have treated the staff like they are dirt.
“I don’t condone what the staff did but Waitrose should be publically shamed for this – it’s appalling.”
A spokesperson for Waitrose said: “Because this situation is confidential to the people involved we cannot and should not make any comment.
“We are continuing our review and hope to resolve things as soon as we can.
“However, we can say categorically that we strongly disagree with the petition’s description of working conditions.”