NEWS “without comment”
Tuesday, Nov 24th 2020
Amazon hired Pinkerton private detectives to ‘spy on warehouse workers, track unionization efforts and monitor protests’, leaked documents show
Motherboard described a trove of leaked internal reports from Amazon’s security division in an article published Monday
The reports allegedly reveal how Amazon recruited operatives from Pinkerton to monitor workers’ labor and union-organizing activities around Europe
They also allegedly show analysts keeping track of European activist movements seen as a potential threat to Amazon’s business
Some of the documents suggest that Amazon could be using the same surveillance tactics in the US, Motherboard reported
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that it had hired Pinkerton to gather intelligence on its workers
‘Any attempt to sensationalize these activities or suggest we’re doing something unusual or wrong is irresponsible and incorrect,’ the spokesperson said
By Megan Sheets For Dailymail.com
23 November 2020
Amazon hired operatives from the Pinkerton detective agency to spy on warehouse workers, track labor unionization efforts and keep tabs on social justice groups, a new report claims.
Motherboard described a trove of internal Amazon reports that it said outlined the online retail giant’s ‘obsessive monitoring of organized labor and social and environmental movements’ in an article published Monday.
The reports leaked to Motherboard were written in 2019 by intelligence analysts with Amazon’s Global Security Operations Center, the security division that is responsible for protecting employees, vendors and assets at its facilities worldwide.
They revealed how Amazon recruited operatives from Pinkerton, a US-based spy agency with a decades-long record of infiltrating labor unions to thwart strikes, to monitor workers’ labor and union-organizing activities around Europe.
Jeff Bezos’ firm also tracked European activists – including Greta Thunberg’s climate group Fridays4future, the Yellow Vest movement in France and Greenpeace – because they believed those demonstrations were a threat to their business.
Some of the documents suggested that Amazon could be using the same surveillance tactics in the United States, Motherboard said.
Amazon hired operatives from the Pinkerton detective agency to spy on warehouse workers, track labor unionization efforts and monitor social justice groups, a new report claims
Lisa Levandowski, a spokesperson for Amazon, confirmed to Motherboard that it had hired Pinkerton to gather intelligence on its workers.
‘Like any other responsible business, we maintain a level of security within our operations to help keep our employees, buildings, and inventory safe,’ Levandowski said.
‘That includes having an internal investigations team who work with law enforcement agencies as appropriate, and everything we do is in line with local laws and conducted with the full knowledge and support of local authorities.
‘Any attempt to sensationalize these activities or suggest we’re doing something unusual or wrong is irresponsible and incorrect.’
History of the Pinkerton Detective Agency
The Pinkerton National Detective Agency was founded in Chicago in 1850 by Scotsman Allan Pinkerton.
At the height of its power in the early 20th century, Pinkerton was the largest law enforcement agency in the country.
The US Department of Justice contracted out investigative work to Pinkerton in the 1870s, before the Anti-Pinkerton Act of 1893 banned the government from employing individuals affiliated with the firm.
Pinkerton gained a reputation for intimidating factory workers while helping companies keep unionists out of their operations.
Today, the word Pinkerton is still associated with union conflicts – but the firm focuses efforts on threat intelligence, risk management and executive protection.
The company was purchased by Swedish security company Securitas AB in 1999. It’s headquarters is now located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.