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Berlin court rules supermarket cashier rightfully fired over €1.30

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Berlin court rules supermarket cashier rightfully fired over €1.30
Photo: DPA
17:44 CET+01:00
A Berlin court ruled on Tuesday that a former cashier for the Kaiser's supermarket chain was rightfully fired after allegedly taking €1.30 in bottle deposits, but she maintains the termination was because of her union activities.

The Tiergarten-Süd district ruling upheld an August 2008 court decision that confirmed the employer's claim that Barbara E., who worked as a cashier for 30 years, had destroyed the company's trust in her.

A cashier must show "unconditional dependability and absolute correctness" the court said, adding that the termination was about a loss of trust and not the amount of money, according to news magazine Stern.

During the case, the 50-year-old, also known as “Emmely” by the media, claimed that she may have lost her job because she was part of a worker's union, but the court said it found no evidence of this.

The case has inspired union-related solidarity groups and made national headlines, making Barbara E. and her lawyer Benedikt Hopmann minor celebrities.

German courts will not allow the case to be appealed for a third time, but woman's lawyer plans to take the “unbelievable” ruling to the European Court of Justice in a “long, arduous fight with all available resources,” news agency DDP reported.

Kaiser's lawyer Schindler-Abbes said it was unfortunate that Barbara E. had made a platform out of the case. “It had nothing to do with ‘Emmely' personally,” Schindler-Abbes said. “They politically usurped the trial, but in the end it goes against our society.”

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