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Endless Christmas carols irk Czech clerks
( 2003-12-23 09:49) (Agencies)

Labor unions in the Czech Republic demanded Monday that stores stop playing Christmas carols incessantly or pay compensation for causing emotional trauma to sales clerks.

Some stores here play the same songs all day and play them loudly. Employees say shifts have become unbearable.

"To listen to it for eight hours a day is not healthy, that's for sure," said Alexandr Leiner, a union leader. "And for the customers, it's almost unbearable as well."

Leiner said unions have written to major chains, such as Tesco, and demanded that employees be compensated. He said the unions want $19 or two days off as a possible compensation. They've received no response.

Unions in neighboring Austria have lodged similar complaints against stores there.

Tesco spokesman Vesselin Barliev said the chain has not received any complaints. "We don't see the music as a problem," he said.

 
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