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Germany – Amazon faces renewed criticism over temp scandal

25 February 2013

Online retailer Amazon is facing renewed criticism over its use of agency workers after a recent undercover report revealed poor working conditions of temporary staff hired at one of the company’s German sites.

Although the e-business has taken several steps to resolve the issue, such as terminating its contract with a security firm accused of harassing temporary workers, the firm has been condemned for its labour practices.

Frank-Jürgen Weise, chairman of Germany’s federal employment agency, said: “Amazon is operating outside of what I deem correct for the use of temporary staffing in the labour market. We need temporary staffing, but to a reasonable extent.”

But Mr Weise said that temporary agency employment was an integral part of the country’s labour market. He said staffing firms remained “partners” of the local job centres and helped firms cover for peak period while also offering opportunities to low skilled workers.

He warned against implementing further regulations as these would only be undermined. “It is better to focus on good corporate management,” he said.

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