I am writing in the hope that any future employees are not subjected to the same atrocious workplace conditions which I experienced during my employment at Kotsovolos (Dixons South East Europe) in Greece.
I was employed as a Trainee Deputy Store Manager from September 2017 until May 2018. During this time I was exposed to workplace conditions which put simply, trod on my rights as an employee and as a person. It is inconceivable that any employee in the year 2018, in an EU country working for a multinational organization experiences such conditions.
Firstly, I was expected to work overtime without being paid. There are 3 different shifts, 9:00-17:00, 13:00-21:00 and 9:00-13:00, 17:00-21:00. Keep in mind that I needed to be at work 30 minutes (60 minutes when I opened the store in the morning) before my shift and when I finished at 21:00 I stayed back at least 30-60 minutes until the store was shut according to existing procedure and the daily takings were counted. However, this was not enough. There were many times I was asked by the Store Manager to work 10:00-21:00, 11:00-21:00 and also 12:00-21:00 instead of the normal 8 hour shift 13:00-21:00. When I was expected to work the shift 9:00-13:00, 17:00-21:00, I almost never left at 13:00 and instead would leave after 14:30 and many times I worked from 8:30-21:30. When I was 9:00-17:00 I almost never left at 17:00. Each time my shift was over I had to ask the store manager before I could go home. Many times he asked me to stay an extra 2 or 3 hours for no apparent reason. Also, I never had a break for lunch or to have any form of a meal as I was constantly in the store for the duration of my shift.
Secondly, for at least half of the time I was employed I was not given my work shifts in advance. Most of the time I would be told my shift for the following day at the end of my current shift. This made it difficult to lead a normal life outside of work and I could not program any activities in advance. Additionally there were many weeks where I was not given a rostered day off and instead I worked a 6-day week.
Thirdly, I was given forced leave but was not able to actually have the days off and instead I worked. During my employment I was given at least 9 days leave but in fact only 5 of these days were actual leave and I didn’ t work. The rest of the employees (sales people and warehouse) were also given forced leave but they were not expected to work these days. The above I have described are violations of basic employee rights and is common practise in many stores in the Kotsovolos network and is not only limited to the store I was employed at.
I could go on and on about how I was screamed at, treated inhumanely and was never made to feel part of the management team at the store. The store manager did not want me to sit in the managers office with him and the other Assistant Store Manager and the whole time I was expected to be outside on the sales floor. I was never trusted from the start and was not given a department and a team to manage as is usual procedure for all store managers in Kotsovolos. Instead I was helping in the warehouse and in the service department.
I am a professional with 20 years working experience and I have never before experienced similar crude working conditions.
Don't make the same mistake and if you are a professional and a good person don't bother as nothing will ever change under the current management.