A Brazilian store has caused outrage after an employee who died during his shift was covered with umbrellas so the business could stay open.
The worker, identified by his wife as Manoel Moisés Cavalcante, died after suffering a heart attack in the Carrefour supermarket in Recife on August 14.
Cavalcante was given first aid but sadly could not be revived. However, instead of closing the store so his body could be removed appropriately, his fellow staff members placed three large umbrellas and several boxes around him to ensure his body couldn’t be seen by shoppers.
Unsuspecting customers carried on as normal, likely assuming that the boxes and umbrellas were concealing a spillage or a display in progress.
Pictures of the shocking incident were shared widely on social media this week, where people condemned Carrefour for its handling of the situation.
One person wrote:
An employee dies at a Carrefour in Brazil. The store just covered the body with umbrellas and boxes so they could stay open while they wait for someone to take him away.
In Brazil, a salesman in a Carrefour supermarket had a heart attack in the middle of his shift and died.
Carrefour covered his body with umbrellas in the middle of the hallway and continued operating like nothing had happened until the morgue could come pick it up.
A third commented:
A worker died in a Carrefour supermarket in Recife, which covered up his body to remain open. Welcome to Brazil in the year 2020.
Following the backlash, Carrefour issued an apology for the way the situation was handled and explained emergency responders’ instructions were not to move the body.
In a statement the company said:
Carrefour apologizes for the inappropriate way it handled the sad and unexpected passing of Mr Moisés Santos, victim of a heart attack, in Recife store. The company made a mistake by not closing the store immediately after what happened, as well did not find the correct way to protect Mr Moses’ body.
We reinforce that as soon as the sales prooter started to feel sick, we did the first aid and we activated SAMU, following all protocols for performing relief quickly. After the death, we followed the instruction not to remove the body from the place.
Carrefour also reiterates that it changed the guidelines to employees for rare situations such as including the mandatory closing of the store – with aim of bringing more sensitivity and respect. We will continue to contact the family of Mr Moses to support you in whatever is necessary and our sympathies in this difficult time.
Cavalcante’s wife further condemned the company while speaking to the news website G1, saying: ‘I was outraged. Apparently human beings are worth nothing. People only care about money.’
Carrefour is the subsidiary of a French supermarket group, and is one of the largest retail chains in Brazil. In the wake of the August 14 incident, the company has changed its protocol to require that the store be closed immediately in ‘rare situations such as this’.