Amazon workers in Germany set to hold another strike: Report


Berlin: In an attempt to disrupt Black Friday order processing, trade union Ver.di (United Service Union) has called on workers at an Amazon warehouse in Germany to hold their second strike in a span of less than a week, the media reported.

The next strike would be for a shorter period — from Monday night to Tuesday night — compared to the previous three-day strike in which 500 workers took part, The Verge reported on Sunday.

Ver.di had earlier called call on the employees of seven Amazon shipping centres to a three-day strike that started on Thursday and ended on Saturday to demand recognition of collective bargaining agreements.

“The aim is the recognition of the collective agreements of the retail and mail order business by Amazon as well as the conclusion of a collective agreement for good and healthy work,” the organisation said in a statement.

“For eight years now, our colleagues have been denied the wages required by collective agreements and a living wage. At the same time, the group with the richest man in the world at the top is making huge additional billions in profits through the coronavirus pandemic, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas business,” said Orhan Akman, who is responsible for retail and mail order at Ver.di.

The organisation has been raising concerns about working condition of Amazon workers in Germany and the challenges that they faced due to the pandemic.

It has alleged that the e-commerce giant has not taken enough measure to protect the workers at warehouses, saying that the prescribed distances between employees could hardly be kept at peak times.

An Amazon spokesperson told The Verge on Sunday that “no impact of these activities, the overwhelming majority of employees is doing their everyday job.”

The strikes in Germany come at a time when an international group of climate activists have joined hands with warehouse workers to launch an online campaign called “Make Amazon Pay”, demanding that the e-commerce giant reduce carbon footprint and respect worker’s right to ask for better payments.

Launched on Black Friday, the coalition has demanded that Amazon change its policies and governments change their laws to improve the workplace “by raising workers’ pay in all Amazon warehouses in line with the increasing wealth of the corporation, including hazard pay and premium pay for peak times.”