Schlecker boss ‘paid family business assets’

Prosecutors investigating drugstore founder Anton Schlecker suspect him of having paid his wife €60,000 a month for years leading up to the Schlecker bankcrupcy, Der Spiegel magazine wrote on Sunday.

Schlecker boss 'paid family business assets'
Photo: DPA

Anton Schlecker is thought to have known his company was threatened with insolvency and transferred assets on to his family, according to the report.

Mr Schlecker realized as long ago as 2008 that falling profits meant his company was “threatened with being unable to pay,” according to the prosecuting attorney in Stuttgart – currently investigating the company management on suspicion of foul play.

Investigators, who gained access to and searched the family’s properties in July, believe that from 2008 onwards Mr Schlecker began paying “suspicious, gratuitous transfers of assets to family members,” wrote the magazine.

These transfers included the €20 million family estate in Baden-Württemberg and an “excessive wage to his wife Christa” which “considering the income situation, was no longer appropriate,” prosecutors told the magazine.

The Local/jlb

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German Amazon workers strike on ‘Black Friday’

Amazon workers in Germany started a three-day strike Thursday timed to disrupt the online retailer's "Black Friday" sales bonanza.

German Amazon workers strike on 'Black Friday'
Signs for the Amazon strike in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

The strike, called by the powerful Verdi union, is set to last until Saturday and marks the latest escalation in a years-long battle with Amazon for better pay and working conditions.

“We estimate that around 2,500 people went on strike today, a higher number than in similar actions in the past and given the difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic, it's a big success,” a Verdi spokesman told AFP.

To limit the risk of Covid-19 infections, the union said it was not staging any rallies during the strike.

Amazon in a statement said the walkouts were not affecting customer deliveries since “the majority of employees are working as normal”.

The stoppage affected Amazon distribution facilities in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld, Augsburg, Rheinberg, Werne and Koblenz.

Verdi has long wanted Amazon to sign on to regional wage agreements covering retail and e-commerce, and has organised numerous walkouts in recent years.

It also wants Amazon to improve health and safety at work, accusing the retail giant of not doing enough to protect staff from the coronavirus at some of its German sites.

Amazon defended its policies, saying it offered “excellent” wages, benefits and career opportunities in a “modern, safe” work environment.

The company employs more than 16,000 people in Germany and has taken on an additional 10,000 seasonal employees to cope with a boom in online shopping triggered by the pandemic.