It's one of those PR situations, where the company needs to find a miracle in a hurry to fix what might be a great image, or a pretty-screwed-up image. You just don't know.
Amazon operates a warehouse system in Germany.
Like any warehouse operation....they hire a commercial security team to monitor and report on assets and employees.
Well....someone just sat there....looked at what they felt was a mess....called up the media, and Amazon is now reviewing just how big a mess it might be.
What we have been told....via ARD news team (the state TV guys).....is that Amazon employees now feel threatened by the security team hired.
The security team? Hess Security.
Their headquarters is out of Kassel. They've been around for five years and done a wide array of services for private companies, the Bahn, and even the German government.
In this case with Amazon....employees talk of intimidation and feeling threatened by the Hess Security folks. In a comical way, between the short haircut style of the Hess team, the black uniforms, and just having the name Hess....it allures to Nazis. Naturally, that gets Germans all peppy by just the mere suggestion.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung, considered a more reputable paper in Germany....has taken up the storm and probably cast Amazon in a negative fashion. ARD, has simply shown the video....added a few comments....and left people sitting there and just thinking "Nazi" but not really sure.
Amazon? I suspect they are a bit shocked at how this developed, and how they got a fair amount of negative reporting so easily. The Hess Security folks? My guess is that they will be let go and some other security organization arrives within a week or two....in crisp white uniforms, and probably long hair. Amazon will speak to the negativity and say they don't think anything wrong was done, but they always want to fix what might be misinterpreted
As for Hess? I'm guessing the management team will meet next week, and review image. My humble guess is that all Hess security guys will be in crisp white shirts, and blue pants within a month. The Hess name? That's a curious thing. They are the Hensel European Security Services. They might have thought Hess was catchy, but they might revert back over to Hensel....just to make sure that tainted Nazi stuff doesn't stick to them.
So here we are....the evil Amazon guys....taken down a notch again....by the good German media.
Update: 16 Feb 2013: On top of the guard issues, the hiring method of the temp workers is also piling up. It would appear that the Amazon folks had problems in hiring Germans for the positions, with the pay/benefits just not in an acceptable fashion.....at least with Germans. So they brought in foreign workers and appear to have cut the corners on these guys. My gut reaction is that come September of this year.....Amazon will have to focus on some significant pay and just stick with local Germans, for these temp jobs.