Amazon workers in Germany to strike over pay as U.S. retailer plans 13th warehouse
Jul 15, 2019
Workers at seven Amazon sites across Germany will go on strike over pay for at least two days this week starting on Sunday night going into Monday, labour union Verdi said.
The strikes, under the motto 'No more discount on our incomes", will coincide with Amazon's Prime Day when the U.S. online retail giant offers its 'Prime' customers discount deals. Germany is its second-biggest market after the United States.
Amazon has faced a long-running battle with unions in Germany over better pay and conditions for logistics workers, who have staged frequent strikes since 2013.
"While Amazon fuels bargain hunting on Prime Day with hefty discounts, employees are being deprived of a living wage," Verdi retail specialist Orhan Akman said in a statement.
Verdi said the strikes would hit Amazon's sites in Werne, Rheinberg, Leipzig, Graben, Koblenz, as well as at Amazon's two sites in Bad Hersfeld.
"The company must finally recognise the collective wage agreements for the retail and mail order sectors," Akman said. "Wages and salaries at Amazon must no longer be determined in the style of a lord of the manor."
Verdi also demanded that collective bargaining agreements be made binding across Germany's retail sector.
"A universally binding collective agreement would then apply for Amazon too," said Akman.
Amazon runs 12 warehouses in Germany. Earlier on Sunday, Amazon said it plans to open a new warehouse in Germany this year and create more than 2,800 jobs with permanent contracts.
That will bring Amazon’s total staff in Germany to more than 20,000 across more than 35 sites by the end of 2019, the retailer said in a statement on Sunday.
It added that its 13th warehouse in Germany would be in the western city of Moenchengladbach.
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