Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s warehouse workers in Germany may go on strike, for the first time since operations began in the region, demanding better pay and benefits, reports Reuters.
The online retailer employs around 9000 staff across Germany, and trade union Verdi has accused the retailer of failing to agree on a collective agreement on employment conditions, which the region’s other mail order and retail firms have implemented. The trade union is also asking for increases in basic pay and larger supplements for night shifts.
Workers from the eastern city of Leipzig were in support of the strike from earlier this month while the staff at Bad Hersfeld, which employs around 3700 staff, came in support today. As per Verdi, 98 percent of the workers who took part in the ballot at Bad Hersfeld were in favor of the strike.
The trade union is demanding a basic pay of 10.66 euros ($13.89) an hour, for Leipzig, compared to 9.30 euros now. For Bad Hersfeld, demand is for 12.18 euros from of 9.83 euro presently.
“Amazon’s management should … finally start talks on a collective agreement,” the union’s negotiator Bernhard Schiederig said. Schiederig added, the strike may delay deliveries to customers and could come within weeks while no specific date has been fixed yet. The negotiator also said that an opposition Social Democrat candidate for chancellor visited the site at Bad Hersfeld on Monday. The opposition leader met Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Germany boss Ralf Kleber and labour representatives. Amazon’s management had again declined to agree on the collective agreement, though they did agree to hold further talks with the union to resolve the issue, said Schiederig.
There have been no comments from the retailer yet, but previously the company reported that the wages it pays are competitive.
This is not the first time the retailer has faced protests from employees and unions.
In January, a trade union from UK protested against Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), accusing it of “dodging fair taxes” and methods used to employ casual workers.
In February, Amazon Germany was in the news for employing security staff from a company related to a neo-Nazi group who was bullying its employees. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the online retailer scrapped the contract.
Earlier this month, some of the workers at web bazaar Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s central depot in Germany went on strike demanding improvement in working conditions and pay. About 500 of workers of Bad Hersfeld site went on strike against the retailer.