Thursday 16 July 2009
A number of railway station branches of the Albert Heijn supermarket chain have been told not to employ staff of Moroccan origin, the AD reports on Thursday.
The paper says several branches of AH To Go in Amsterdam and at the Hague's main station include the words 'No Moroccans' in bold letters on a list of times and days when extra staff are needed.
The list was emailed to 31 AH To Go shops on June 4, the paper says. Branch managers who asked if this was correct were sent another email the same day with the text 'urgent, No Moroccans', the paper says.
AH To Go shops are small supermarkets where people can buy a sandwich or salad as well as essential supplies. Albert Heijn is part of the bourse-listed Ahold supermarket group.
A spokesman for Albert Heijn's headquarters said the company was 'extremely shocked' by the news. The AH To Go branches are operated by a company called Servex, which is part of Dutch Rail (NS).
A spokesman for the NS apologied to 'everyone affected' and said measures are being taken at Servex. But he did not say what would happen to the staff responsible for the emails.
'Servex is responsible for personnel policy but must meet our guidelines,' he said.
The Telegraaf quotes an anonymous AH To Go worker as saying 'there are already enough young Moroccans working here'. 'It could be threatening for customers,' he told the paper.
The Dutch anti-discrimination bureau said it had written to Albert Heijn asking for an explanation and was considering further action.
The bureau is also concerned about the different age limits set for various branches. For example, the Alkmaar and Rotterdam Alexander AH To Go stores only want staff aged 16 and 17 while in Utrecht they must be older than 19.
This too is against Albert Heijn policy, the spokesman said.