Amazon season workers mistreated by company security guards
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/25/2013 -- The German government is demanding an explanation from Amazon after a television documentary exposed seasonal workers being harassed by security guards.
The documentary was broadcast on ARD and showed employees' rooms were searched, while the employees themselves were frisked at breakfast and almost constantly watched.
Some of the employment agencies now stand to lose their operating licenses, according to Employment Minister Ursula von der Leyen.
In a statement, Amazon noted that it would follow up on complaints that arose following the documentary. "The suspicion weighs heavily; therefore all facts must be put on the table as quickly as possible," Mrs von der Leyen told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
The statement continued: "If the special investigation finds that there is some substance to the complaints against the employment agencies, then their licenses are in question."
The film depicted the living and working conditions for the agency workers who had been brought in for the busy holiday rush and busy post-holiday season for companies such as Amazon and Bad Hersfeld.
It exposed staff living quarters in cramped holiday accommodations far from the Amazon warehouse, which were reached only be poorly stationed bus services.
Many of ht workers were from Spain or Poland, and the workers from outside of Germany were shown to be on the receiving end of the worst of the harassment. The bullying often came by way of the security guards that were employed via a private firm, Hensel European Security Services (Hess).
Hess has been under contract with an employment agency, and not Amazon.
The firm stated that it rejected the allegations that it was in support of far-right political standings. However, it confirmed that its guards carried out particularly intensive room searches.
Amazon made a further statement regarding the incident, stating: "Our goal is to deliver orders quickly and reliably to our customers.”
"We know this only works with a contented workforce... We will follow up each incident in our logistics centers and their surroundings which is brought to our attention by our staff, and if need be, will implement thorough improvements."
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