[UPDATED] Bloomberg BNA to put surveillance cameras in the snack pantry

Bloomberg BNA is cracking down on employees who have been filling bags with food and drinks from the snack pantry and enjoying them at home.

A memo warns: “In order to deter this behavior going forward, BBNA plans on placing cameras in the pantry… [and] if you are observed taking any amount of soda, juice, milk, fruit or snacks home you may be subject to termination from BBNA for cause.”

From: BBNA Broadcasts
Date: June 21, 2013, 8:07:05 AM EDT
Subject: Pantry Abuse

As many of you know, the pantry was put in place for your personal consumption while you are at work. Unfortunately, over the past few months there have been several instances where employees have been observed filling bags with sodas, snacks, fruit, and in some cases cartons of milk, to take home with them.newmemo It has become so excessive that in the last few weeks there have been multiple times when the coolers were almost completely empty prior to the end of a workday. Employees who worked later in the day, or over the weekend, found there were essentially no snacks or drinks available.

While I am sure this is not the normal behavior for the majority of our employees, it does present a problem for BBNA, and one that we need to address immediately. In order to deter this behavior going forward, BBNA plans on placing cameras in the pantry. Prior to the installation of the cameras and even after the cameras are installed, if you are observed taking any amount of soda, juice, milk, fruit or snacks home you may be subject to termination from BBNA for cause.

As noted above, the pantry was put in place for your personal consumption while you are at work and we believe it is a very nice benefit to have at BBNA. Unfortunately, the behavior of a few individuals impacts all employees. If this type of behavior continues we will have no other option than to consider closing down the pantry. That would be a shame.

Mike Schmidt
Vice President, Human Resources

UPDATE: Laura Francis, acting chair of the Bloomberg-BNA unit of the Washington-Baltimore Guild, responds to the company’s memo:

From: Francis, Laura
Date: June 21, 2013, 12:27:56 PM EDT
Subject: Pantry and Cameras

Hi everyone — by now you’re probably aware of the broadcast message talking about installing a camera in the pantry, and I just wanted to send a quick message to allay some concerns.

First, BBNA is required to bargain with the Guild over the installation of any cameras here, in the pantry or elsewhere, and we already have initiated the process with HR.

In addition, any discipline that BBNA imposes is subject to the grievance and arbitration process under the contract.

Furthermore, BBNA cannot close the pantry because, under our contract, it is required to maintain benefits it provides to the employees.

We will provide further updates in the future as our bargaining progresses. We are currently scheduled to meet the afternoon of July 1.

Hope you have a good weekend!

Laura

UPDATE 2: Bloomberg BNA boss apologizes for the memo and says cameras won’t be installed.


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