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Germany – Amazon temp scandal documentary “faked”

09 April 2013

The staffing industry in Germany continues to suffer from a bad image with a recent TV documentary once again inflaming debates about the legality of staffing firms. Journalists from public broadcaster ARD revealed that Amazon mistreated agency workers at one of its German plants, causing a political storm in the country. But the authenticity of the allegations, which discredited the entire staffing industry, has now been questioned.

This week it has been revealed that the high-profile TV documentary allegedly failed to represent the truth, at least in some aspects. Journalists have been accused of distorting facts and inventing witnesses to discredit the staffing industry. The broadcaster ARD denied the accusations. The documentary showed how seasonal workers lived in poor housing conditions and were harassed by security guards.

A German law firm, Kanzlei Höcker, has now requested a provisional injunction over the alleged misrepresentations in the film. ARD is currently not allowed to show the documentary online.

The staffing industry welcomed the news. Thomas Hetz from the German association of staffing companies (BAP) said the journalists involved in the production of the documentary had “embarrassed themselves.”

The reporters were likely to win prestigious television awards for their documentary. But, Mr Hetz said, “they now have to admit that they used invented means for their abusive criticism of temporary staffing.”

He said that the public broadcaster ARD is responsible for objective reporting. “It would be nice if journalists would report about temporary staffing in an objective manner,” said Mr Hetz. He demanded an apology from the broadcaster and politicians who supported the “slander.” He said, “Why did the documentary knowingly fake facts and who will take responsibility for this?” 

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