Amazon’s Labor Relations Under Scrutiny in Germany

Author: Jack Ewing, New York Times, Published on: 3 March 2013

[There is] an escalating battle between ver.di, one of the largest unions in Germany, and Amazon...Deservedly or not, Amazon’s labor relations have lately come under intense scrutiny by German media...The triggering event was a...documentary about the treatment of some of the 10,000 temporary workers that Amazon hired last year to cope with the holiday rush...[that] implied that Amazon used neo-Nazi thugs to keep workers in line...The [security] firm denied any connection to extremist groups. But Amazon fired the security firm, nonetheless...[T]he nebulous status of temporary workers at Amazon is a year-round issue...But Mr. Clark [Amazon’s vice president] countered that virtually all of Amazon’s permanent employees in Germany started out as temporary workers [said Dave Clark, Amazon's vice president]...Thomas Fehling, the mayor [of Bad Hersfeld], said he condemned poor treatment of temporary workers reported in the German press. But he added, “We have a very positive feeling about Amazon,” which employs 2,500 people here. [Also refers to Walmart, General Motors, Neckermann]

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