Has fascism been privatized? The Independent writes:
Amazon is at the center of a deepening scandal in Germany as the online shopping giant faced claims that it employed security guards with neo-Nazi connections to intimidate its foreign workers.
Germany’s ARD television channel made the allegations about Amazon’s treatment of more than 5,000 temporary staff from across Europe working at its German packing and distribution centers. ARD’s film showed omnipresent guards from a company named HESS Security wearing black uniforms and boots with military haircuts. They were employed to keep order at hostels and budget hotels where foreign workers stayed. “Many of the workers are afraid,” the program-makers said.
ARD said Amazon’s temporary staff worked eight-hour shifts packing goods at the company’s logistics centers in Bad Hersfeld, Konstanz and Augsburg. Many walked up to 17 kilometers per shift and all those taken on could be fired at will. On arrival in Germany, most were told their pay had been cut to below the rate promised when they applied for jobs at Amazon.
The documentary provided photographic evidence showing that guards regularly searched the bedrooms of foreign staff. “They tell us they are the police here,” a Spanish woman complained. Workers were allegedly frisked to check they had not walked away with breakfast rolls.
Several guards were shown wearing Thor Steinar clothing – a Berlin-based designer brand synonymous with the far-right in Germany. ARD suggested that the name “HESS Security” was an allusion to Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess. HESS Security did not respond to the allegations.
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