Social unrest at Amazon Germany spreads to France

Social unrest at Amazon Germany spreads to France

While three of Amazon's nine German distribution centers went on strike (again) during this busy festive period, its French division is also starting to experience some social unrest.

Strike until Christmas Eve

Amazon Germany's social conflict has been brewing for years and has surfaced once more, leading to three distribution centers to be unavailable through strikes which will last until Christmas Eve, according to labour union Ver.di.

 

The reason is still the same as before: employees want to be part of the (better paid) collective labour agreements for retail, while Amazon maintains its employees are part of the (cheaper) logistics branch. There were several strikes over the past few weeks in Germany, as more than 2,400 employees stopped working in four different storage facilities according to the labour union. Management says only 2,000 employees went on strike.

 

French unrest as well

French strikes were not as successful: the CGT had called for a strike at Amazon's distribution facilities at Lauwin-Planque (near Lille), Montélimar, Sevrey and Saran (near Orleans). The communist labour union demanded an overall wage increase and better working conditions, especially seeing how the French centers have had to work overtime because of the German strikes.

 

The board says only 37 out of 4,700 people actually went on strike. "That is because the board strategically flipped the tables. Amazon has granted its employees vacation days, while they were previously unable to do so until the 24th", CGT labour union representative Sébastien Boissonnet said. In order to compensate for those who were not present, Amazon hired temporary workers. "Temporary workers cannot go on strike, as that would end their assignment", the labour union said.

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