Amazon worker bracelets never - Calenda (4)

Only ones we made here are jewelry says industry minister

(ANSA) - Rome, February 2 - Industry Minister Carlo Calenda on Friday ruled out the prospect of worker bracelets being used in Italy after reports Amazon was planning to bring them in to keep tabs on warehouse staff and optimise their performance, sparking a huge furore. "I told them that the only bracelets we made in this country are the ones our jewellers produce," Calenda said after meeting a delegation from the online retail giant. "I explained to them, and they understood, that a thing like this, which has been patented in Italy, will never happen". Premier Paolo Gentiloni and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani are among those to have expressed concern about the worker-bracelet hypothesis. Small leftwing Free and Equal (LeU) leader Pietro Grasso called the idea "like something out of science fiction" and said "it must never be allowed here".
    Small rightist Brothers of Italy (FdI) leader Giorgia Meloni advocated a boycott of Amazon.
    "I say to the Italians: don't buy on Amazon, our laziness can cost us dear, buy in stores", Meloni said. "This is not an irrelevant topic, it speaks to the overweening power of uncontrolled globalisation and of some multinationals", she said. "They are returning to the cotton plantations and I don't want to be in a world in which people are treated like beasts. "I want employers and workers to shake each others' hands, my model is based on people not money".
    The mooted bracelet would be against Italian and European privacy norms, privacy watchdog chief Antonello Soro said. "In this case it would seem that the digital economy giants are already thinking of robotising man: it is a wrong direction because there can be no progress or innovation that is not based on man." Amazon's Italian workers are already up in arms about conditions and struck on Black Friday.