Trainees at discount supermarket Aldi were wrapped in clingfilm, chained to posts and had their faces scrawled on with permanent marker, the company has admitted.
The “initiation” process happened at one of the company’s German distribution centres and was sanctioned by supervisors. Further allegations of the mistreatment of employees at the company, which is based in Germany, also include bullying using rats and subjecting staff to “psychological terror”, according to a former manager.
Andreas Straub, who worked for Aldi Sud made the claims in a book, Inside Aldi published about his time with the retail giant.
“There was a culture of fear at Aldi Sud and nothing has changed since the publication of the book,” he told German website De Local.
One trainee claimed he was wrapped in clingflim after he was accused of “being cheeky” and threatened with being locked in a -20C freezer if he was rude again.
Aldi admitted this had happened.
A spokesman said: “To our dismay, our internal investigation shows that the incident described does in essence represent the truth.”
Mr Straub’s allegations in the book have been so explosive they are to be turned into a film about Germany’s biggest supermarket group, which has more than 400 stores in the UK.