Amazon asked police in Spain to intervene in a mass strike at a warehouse on the outskirts of Madrid, according to local reports.
Amazon wanted a police presence at the warehouse to ensure that productivity remained high within the fulfilment center, while workers staged their protest outside, according to Spanish newspaper El Confidencial.
A source at Spanish union CCOO, which helped coordinate the strikes, told Business Insider that Amazon “wanted to send the police inside the warehouse to push people to work.”
Amazon strongly denied the claims and called it “the worst kind of misinformation.”
The dispute erupted as thousands of Amazon workers across Europe staged strikes on Black Friday in protest of warehouse working conditions. Some 1,600 staff walked out in Spain.
Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reported that Amazon met with police officials after the strike was announced. It wanted local officers “to force employees to go to their respective jobs and ensure their performance was identical to that of a normal working day.”
Amazon’s request “dumbfounded” police, according to El Confidencial. “The request was categorically rejected by the police, who maintained that controlling labour productivity doesn’t fall within its powers,” a police source said.
Law enforcement officials reportedly emphasized to Amazon that Spanish law protects workers’ right to strike. They told the company that police would be present at the strike but would limit themselves to keeping the peace.