• Inside Labour

    The 'casualisation' of the workforce is often a ploy to cut costs, says Terry Bell.

  • When drones go dancing

    Drone technology's future is about to come to life in Cape Town, says Arthur Goldstuck.

  • Testing times for Matona

    New Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona has his work out cut out for him, says Mzwandile Jacks.

Data provided by iNet BFA
Loading...
See More

Germany demands Amazon worker probe

Feb 17 2013 18:34 AFP
Amazon.com

Amazon.com (Picture: Shutterstock )

Related Articles

Amazon wins claim to 'Appstore' name

Amazon to offer loans to sellers

UK cracks down on tax dodging firms

Fund denies claims over abuses

Drugs danger for SA firms

Cape Town factory workers peed-off

 
Berlin - A German government minister called on Sunday for a thorough probe into allegations that foreign seasonal workers hired in Germany by US online retail giant Amazon were harassed and intimidated.

Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that any proof of wrongdoing could result in serious consequences for the temporary employment agency used by Amazon.

"There is a strong suspicion here which is why we need to lay all the facts on the table," she said.

"If the investigation shows there is something to the accusations against the temporary placement agency then its licence is at risk."

A public television documentary broadcast on Wednesday said workers brought in from crisis-hit countries such as Spain to help at Amazon warehouses faced bullying from security personnel, some of whom wore clothing associated with neo-Nazi groups.

It added that Amazon paid the workers less than advertised and that their belongings were regularly searched in the temporary housing they were provided.

Services union Verdi has long accused Amazon of paying its seasonal workers unfair wages and going overboard on surveillance.

The US company, which has about 7 700 people on staff in Germany and hires additional temporary workers at peak times, said it was looking into the allegations and would not tolerate intimidation at its sites.

Hensel European Security Services, the company targeted in the documentary, also denied any wrongdoing.

"The accusation that our company harbours far-right views or supports them is false," it said in a statement.

It confirmed that its staff had searched temporary workers' rooms but said this had taken place with the agreement of the hotel and in order to investigate reported theft.


Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

amazon
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Small Business

Expanding your business requires capital and banks have stringent lending criteria in place.
 

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...