The price of a job in Berlin is something like 1.30 euros. Allegations of the theft of two bottle deposit vouchers, together worth just one euro 30, have cost a woman her position on the checkout at a grocery store. Barbara E was fired for having cashed the two deposits herself. She denied the allegations, but the employment tribunal didn’t believe her.
“So I have to prove I didn’t do it. I am really disappointed,” she said. Barbara E had worked at Kaiser’s for 31 years, starting when it was just a small operation in then-East Germany. The tribunal was told a customer had originally failed to collect the two vouchers, which remained in Barbara’s till. Other staff have launched a campaign in support of Barbara; they say she was really fired for her union work and for leading a pay strike against Kaiser’s in 2007. The tribunal though upheld Kaiser’s decision to fire her, saying the amount of money involved was unimportant, as cashiers had to be absolutely honest.