Amazon to probe German worker abuse claims

BERLIN (AP) - Online retailer Amazon said Thursday it will investigate reports that temporary staff at its logistics centers in Germany were subjected to a climate of intimidation.

A documentary aired Wednesday on German television told of grim conditions for staff hired by temp agencies on Amazon's behalf.

ARD public television cited temporary staff saying they were paid less than promised, faced constant searches and were intimidated by security staff wearing clothes linked to Germany's neo-Nazi scene.

"Amazon tolerates no discrimination or intimidation," Amazon spokeswoman Ulrike Stoecker told The Associated Press in an email. "Even though the security company wasn't hired by Amazon we are of course examining the allegations (...) and will take appropriate measures immediately."

Amazon has more than 7,700 permanent employees in Germany, but hires thousands more to fulfill a surge in orders before Christmas.

The German union ver.di says Amazon workers have for years complained of intense pressure, random searches and short breaks. It says many of the temporary staff come from other European countries where unemployment is high and the Amazon jobs are highly prized.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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