EU Policy. Lawmakers visit Amazon facilities across Europe after parliament ban

MEP Agnes Jongerius is among the lawmakers that will visit an Amazon facility.
MEP Agnes Jongerius is among the lawmakers that will visit an Amazon facility. Copyright Mathieu CUGNOT/ European Union 2022 - Source : EP
Copyright Mathieu CUGNOT/ European Union 2022 - Source : EP
By Cynthia Kroet
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The visits aim to give an insight into working conditions.


Five social-democrat lawmakers will visit Amazon facilities in Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands today (12 April), after representatives from the e-commerce platform were banned from entering the European Parliament following several no-shows at planned hearings.

During the visits, conducted together with trade union representatives, the lawmakers will want to hear more about working conditions from employees, a press statement by union UNI Europa, which coordinated the visits, said.

The Socialist and Democrats (S&D) employment and social affairs spokesperson Agnes Jongerius (the Netherlands) will go to Almelo, vice-presidents Gaby Bischoff and Marc Angel (both Germany) to Frankfurt, Iban García del Blanco (Spain) to Madrid, and Brando Benifei (Italy) to Milan.

Jongerius said in a statement that Amazon needs to “fully respect workers’ rights”.

“We demand Amazon to stop exploiting workers and bogus self-employed, in particular to stop using massive surveillance and AI to abuse employees and invade their privacy,” she added.


The move comes after 14 Amazon lobbyists were banned from entering the parliament in February following a call from the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) after the company failed to attend a series of hearings and factory visits in 2021 and 2023.

“It is unreasonable for members to be lobbied by Amazon while at the same time being deprived of the right to represent the interests of European citizens and inquire about claims of breaches of fundamental rights enshrined in EU Treaties and EU labour laws,” the employment committee said.

The politicians wanted to hold discussions and visits to verify media reports suggesting the potential monitoring of Amazon's workers along with other business and workplace practices.

Following the parliament ban, Amazon said it was willing to keep engaging with lawmakers. "We have on several occasions invited them to visit our facilities. That invitation still stands," a spokesperson said in February. 

In January, the tech giant was fined €32m by France's data protection authority CNIL after it found that Amazon France Logistique, which manages the company's warehouses in France, set up "an excessively intrusive system for monitoring the activity and performance of employees." The penalty followed an inquiry set up in 2019 after a complaint from workers. Amazon France Logistique employs around 20,000 staff in France.

Some 21 trade organisations, including UniEuropa, IndustriAll European Trade Union and LobbyControl, last month also called for a ban on all lobbying organisations working for Amazon “ to give real effect” to the decision to withdraw access badges from Amazon staff. There has been no response on this yet, a source told Euronews.

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