As Amazon and German labour union Ver.di are fighting it out over the German working conditions, the internet giant is building three new logistics centres in Poland to serve the German Amazon customers.
Amazon has over twenty European distribution centres at this point and will “invest a few hundred million euro” for the construction of three Polish distribution centres. The ones near Wrocław and Poznań should be functional in August 2014, with the third (also near Wrocław) activated by the middle of 2015.
Each of these centres will employ 2,000 full-time equivalents. Peak periods will possibly require an additional 3,000 seasonal workers per centre, according to Amazon.
Additional (German) pressure?
According the Polish business paper “Puls Biznesu”, Amazon is getting tired of the many German work interruptions and is considering moving part of its activities to Eastern Europe. Amazon and labour union Ver.di have been butting heads for quite some time.
That union has been trying to force Amazon into accepting that the wages of its 9,000 German employees should be equal to distribution sector wages. Amazon refuses however, reasoning that it is logistics work - a sector that pays far less than the distribution sector. There have been several strikes so far and the union has announced several others, one of which would hit during Christmas season.
Amazon emphasizes it has no plans to close existing logistics centres. “We are not intending to relocate or close any German facilities”, Tim Collins, director of Amazon’s European operations, stated. “The goal is to increase our European activities.”
Collins does not deny that the Polish distribution centres will at first service Amazon.de customers, adding in customers of every other European site later on.