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Private spies reportedly infiltrated an Amazon strike, secretly taking photos of workers, trade unionists, and journalists. Now a union is taking legal action.

By: Isobel Asher Hamilton and Qayyah Moynihan

December 02, 2020

Private spies subcontracted by Pinkerton Agency, a firm Amazon employs, infiltrated and photographed a worker strike at a warehouse on Black Friday in 2019, a Spanish media outlet reported.

    The spies compiled a 51-page document, which included photos of trade unionists, workers, and journalists who attended the strike, El Diario reported.

    Amazon has used Pinkerton spies to track warehouse workers and labor movements at the company in the past, according to a November report.

    The Spanish labor union CCOO has asked a judge to seize documentation relating to the report and said it was considering legal action against Amazon.

    An Amazon spokesperson told El Diario the e-commerce firm had not instructed Pinkerton or any other agency to spy on the strike.

Amazon could face a court battle with a Spanish workers’ union over a report that said private investigators were hired to infiltrate and secretly surveil a strike outside one of its warehouses.

According to a 51-page document obtained by the Spanish news site El Diario, private detectives spied on an Amazon workers’ strike at a warehouse near Barcelona, Spain, on Black Friday

in 2019. The strike was part of a broader freight workers’ strike in the province of Catalonia.

El Diario reported that the private detectives who compiled the document were employed by a Spanish company called Castor & Polux, which had been subcontracted by the Pinkerton Agency.

A November Motherboard report said Amazon employed the Pinkerton Agency to monitor union activity across Europe.

The document contained photographs of trade unionists, workers, and even journalists who attended the strike, according to the El Diario report.

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