3 Dec, 2020 @ 14:15
1 min read

Amazon spying scandal reaches Spain as Unions prepare to sue for privacy violations

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Amazon Strikes

RETAIL giant Amazon’s worker surveillance scandal has reached Spain as its Barcelona plant plans legal action against the firm.

It has emerged that global surveillance company, Pinkertons, subcontracted local security firm Castor & Polux to spy on its workers leading up to the plant’s October 30 strike last year.

Antonio Gimenez Raso, a retired police officer has also been named as a ‘police liaison’ between the firm and the Mossos d’Esquadra.

In a leaked 51-page document obtained by Spanish media outlet El Diario, Amazon reportedly spied on the plant leading up the strike, taking detailed photographs of the workers faces and car licence plates.

Castor & Polux also allegedly conducted numerous interviews with union workers, as well as a journalist who interviewed a worker, then gave details to the police who subsequently recorded her vehicle details.

Amazon’s alleged spying emerged in the United States earlier this year, when the company admitted that it used worker surveillance to monitor employees to ensure they gained maximum productivity.

They also admitted they used items such wrist bands, ID cards and cameras to work against employees joining unions and to prevent union action.

“These are practices typical of the first half of the last century that violate fundamental rights,” said Manolo Fages, the general secretary of the Trade Union.

This isn’t the first time Castor & Polux has been in the spotlight for spying.

The company, along with Raso were implicated in spying on Catalan Officials during the Spain’s 2014 attempt to overthrow the pro-independence movement.

The workers Union of Spain has now moved to take legal action against Amazon for breach of human rights and working conditions.

It is also looking at whether Amazon broke Catalan laws in interfering with the workers right to strike, as well as forcing Amazon to hand over to the authorities any information gained through the spying.

James Warren

"James spent three years spent working as a junior writer at various English language newspapers in Spain before finding a home at the Olive Press. He previously worked for many years as a bid writer for an international motorsports company. Based in Cordoba since 2014, James covers the southern Subbetica region, northern and inland Malaga and the Axarquia area. Get in touch at newsdesk@theolivepress.es with news or trustworthy tips that you would like him to cover in these areas"

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