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Online retailer Amazon to open three facilities in Poland

The world's largest online retailer, Amazon, has confirmed earlier plans to build three logistics centers in Poland. The company insisted the move would not affect its current German locations in any way.

Amazon said Monday it would set up three large logistics centers in Poland, with two of them to be built by August 2014 and the third to be completed by mid-2015. The company added the three locations would have a combined workforce of some 6,000, not counting additional seasonal workers.

Amazon Europe chief Tim Collins explained Poland would be a good location for the firm because of its geographic position, its infrastructure and its pool of suitable employees.

Collins insisted the plan would not affect German operations. "We are not intending to relocate or close any German facilities," he said in a statement.

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Collins argued the eastward expansion would be beneficial for Amazon's overall European business operations. The Czech business daily "Hospodarske Noviny" reported in September that the online retailer was also considering two facilities in the Czech Republic, but Amazon did not make any mention of such plans on Monday.

Right now, the company runs eight centers in Germany, with a new facility to be built at Brieselang east of Berlin. The company said it would employ 1,000 permanent workers there.

Amazon and Germany's public-sector union Verdi are currently at loggerheads over a collective labor agreement along the lines of standard accords for the retail and mail-order sector. Amazon has so far called higher wages unjustified, arguing that it paid workers according to what was common practice in the logistics industry.

hg/hc (dpa, AFP)

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