German Christmas tradition continues: strikes at Amazon

German Christmas tradition continues: strikes at Amazon

German trade union Verdi has called on the workers at the Amazon distribution centre in Bad Hersfeld to go on strike in the last few days before Christmas. The trade union wants better pay and working conditions for the workers there.

 

Retail or logistics?

Since 2013, Amazon’s trade unions have repeatedly organised strikes in Germany, Amazon's second largest market (after the United States).The trade union's most important requirement is that the American internet giant should recognise the collective agreements that apply to other retailers. Amazon has always refused to do so and sets its wages on the - much lower - basis of the logistics sector.

 

"Verdi wants to use the high turnover days before Christmas to increase pressure on collective wage negotiations", Reuters quotes a trade union statement. The organisation also considers the existing Christmas bonuses for staff (approximately 400 euros) to be far too low. The strike was supposed to start today and last until Saturday night. For the time being, the action is limited to the warehouse in Bad Hersfeld.

 

Little inconvenience is expected

According to Amazon, customers will receive their parcels on time, because a lot of employees will continue to work. "Amazon is undoubtedly one of the best employers in the logistics sector", a spokesman added.

 

The company announced the opening of a new distribution centre in Germany last summer. The American e-commerce giant employs some 20,000 people, spread over 35 sites.