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Amazon workers go on strike in Germany

Retailer's workers say Ho. No. Nein!
Tue Dec 17 2013, 13:26
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ONLINE BOOKSELLER Amazon's workers at some of its warehouses in Germany have gone on strike, but the firm said that Christmas is not cancelled.

Some German workers have downed tools, books, DVDs, CDs, t-shirts, toys, trainers and toiletries, and picked up placards in protest about pay and conditions. The timing looks bad for Amazon, but apparently it is still business as usual.

" customers can continue to rely to receive their shipments in time for Christmas Eve," said an Amazon spokesperson.

"On Monday 16th Dec, less than 1,120 of our FC (fulfillment centers) associates in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig and Graben (Augsburg), Germany chose not to come to work today. The majority of employees regularly worked and remained focused on delivering the best customer experience. Amazon did not see any impact on customer shipments."

The firm added that it has around eight times as many workers on its books, and has already hired a considerable number of additional seasonal employees.

"We currently have 9,000 permanent employees in our German fulfillment centers plus 14,000 seasonal employees who support us during the holiday season," it said.

Then the firm talked about how nice it is to work at Amazon, explaining that it works closely with employee representatives to make sure its people are happy.

It said that its fulfillment workers are paid well, in comparison to other logistics firms, and are paid €9.55 per hour plus bonuses, insurance and pension pay. After two years employees get shares in Amazon.

"In all of our logistics centers, we have employee representation - either as works councils or as employee committees with whom we work closely together to make sure employees interests are considered," it added.

The striking workers are represented by the Verdi union. It said that Amazon workers are worked hard.

"The employees at Amazon bring every day a great job, and for that they are right to demand the liability and protection of the retail and mail order trade collective agreement and beyond healthy working conditions, and a respectful treatment," said representative Stefanie Nutzenberger. "The Amazon system is characterized by low wages, permanent pressure to perform or temporary employment." µ


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