Leaked documents reveal Amazon hired Pinkertons to spy on workers

By Andrew Paul

New internal emails recently leaked to Vice have exposed Amazon's militant surveillance of both its own workers around the globe, as well as a number of social and environmental movements the company perceives as a threat to its business model. To help do this, Jeff Bezos' retail giant even went so far as to hire the poster children of union busting goons, the goddamn Pinkertons.

Monitoring everything viewed as threats —

According to Vice and Motherboard's exhaustive investigation, emails within Amazon's Global Security Operations Center detail the extreme levels of scrutiny undertaken by the division when it came to labor organizing, including the "exact date, time, location, the source who reported the action, the number of participants at an event... and a description of what happened, such as a 'strike' or 'the distribution of leaflets.'" Additionally, the Global Security Operations Center tracks social media accounts of ecological and progressive social organizations like Greenpeace and Fridays for Future in order to "highlight potential risks/hazards that may impact Amazon operations, in order to meet customer expectation."

'Inserting' agents into the field —

For assistance in the latest, sadly unsurprising revelations of bullshittery, Amazon employed the notorious Pinkertons (now owned by a Swedish security contractor called Securitas AB) by "inserting" them into warehouses in Poland.

This information comes directly from internal emails, although you wouldn't know that from Amazon's official PR response. "We do not use our partners to gather intelligence on warehouse workers. All activities we undertake are fully in line with local laws and conducted with the full knowledge and support of local authorities," an Amazon spokesperson, Lisa Levandowski, told Motherboard. Which, if you reread the sentences directly preceding that statement, you will be reminded of how that's a complete and utter lie.

Not even trying to hide it anymore —

The revelations were published this week as Amazon aggressively continues its years-long campaign to carve its own late-capitalist global fiefdom, so it's definitely on-brand for them to just go ahead and skip all pretense of subtlety by hiring the name that's literally synonymous with violent anti-labor policy. This also comes not long after previous internal leaks detailed the company's ominous tracking of American opioid usage, so it should be pretty clear by now that Amazon's intelligence operations rival most countries' at this point.

While Bezos and crew are finally receiving at least some pushback from the government regarding antitrust practices, it seems unlikely that the company's philosophy on labor rights, or its approach to the environment will change anytime soon.


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