As thousands of Amazon workers across Europe joined in coordinated strikes to protest the company's infamously "inhumane" working conditions - threatening the e-commerce giant's Black Friday operations - the company resorted to a tactic that hasn't been employed to resolve labor disputes in the West in a very long time: It called the police.
According to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, police in Madrid were "dumbfounded" when Amazon asked them to intervene during a strike at one of the company's warehouses on the outskirts of the city. The company wanted the police presence to keep productivity high, or at least comparable to that of a normal working day.
A spokesman for one of the labor unions that helped coordinate the strike told Business Insider that Amazon "wanted to send the police inside the warehouse to push people to work."
Amazon denied the reports, calling them the "worst kind of misinformation." But the company's history of labor abuses has been well documented in both the US and Europe. Here are a few examples that we've reported on:
Some 1,600 workers walked off the job site in Spain alone. Madrid police told Amazon that Spanish law permits workers to strike. While they said police would be present at the strike to ensure the maintaining of the peace, they wouldn't otherwise interfere. Amazingly, this isn't the first time Amazon has asked Spanish police to respond to a strike: In July, it asked police to ensure that strikebreakers had access to their job sites and delivery trucks during a strike on Prime Day. Some clashes with police ensued, resulting in a few arrests.