Amazon has reportedly ended its relationship with a German security company that was accused of having far-right links and mistreating foreign workers at the U.S. firm’s distribution centers.
Hensel European Security Services’s (HESS) methods were the subject of a documentary last week by the German TV channel ARD, which used secret filming to establish how the firm harassed and intimidated foreign workers and also how some of its military-style employees appeared to have far-right allegiances.
The firm itself has strongly denied such links – it noted in a statement that it itself employs many immigrants — but the documentary quickly attracted the attention of Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leading politicians. HESS’s case has almost certainly not been helped by the fact that the acronym it uses was also the name of Hitler’s deputy.
For those who understand German, the program can be watched here:
The documentary alleged that HESS regularly searched temporary staff members’ accommodation and even frisked them after breakfast, to check that they did not steal rolls. On Friday, Amazon said it was looking into the claims, but early on Monday the U.S. company said it had parted ways with HESS:
“Amazon has secured that the criticized security service is not used any longer, effective immediately. As a responsible employer of approximately 8,000 salaried logistics employees, Amazon has zero-tolerance for discrimination and intimidation and expects the same from every company we work with.”