“Black Friday” Turns Into “Strike Friday” For Amazon Workers In Italy, Germany

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On one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the biggest online retailer is facing an employee crisis. Hundreds of Amazon workers in Italy and Germany went on strike on Friday, demanding better wages.

“Strike Friday” for Amazon workers in Germany and Italy

On Black Friday, Amazon workers in distribution centers in Germany and Italy walked off the job. The workers are also refusing to work overtime until Dec. 31, covering the holiday season. In Germany, a Verdi trade union spokesman said that about 2,500 Amazon workers in facilities including Rheinberg, Werner, Graben, Koblenz, Bad Hersfeld, and Leipzig were on strike.

“The world’s biggest online retailer wants to achieve record sales on this day, but employees have to produce record performance not only on this day so that everything runs how Amazon wants it,” said Verdi board member Stefanie Nutzberger, according to the Express.

In Italy, at a warehouse near Piacenza, some of the workers went on strike demanding higher pay, notes ABC news. With 4,000 people, Piazcenza is Amazon’s main Italian hub. The strike, however, was called for permanent workers. At the Piacenza site, the company employs about 1,600 people on a permanent basis.

E-commerce is a fast-growing segment in the region, but currently it accounts for just 10% (half the European average) of the total retail sales, notes BBC, citing consultancy EY. According to the Telegraph, it is the first-ever strike by the Amazon Italy workers, who termed the day as “Strike Friday.”

In a statement to BBC earlier this week, Amazon said it is working on “maintaining delivery times for Black Friday and the following days.” Further, the U.S. firm said that its wages are “among the highest in the logistics sector” and includes several other benefits such as health insurance and discounts. In Italy, where unemployment is a major issue, the U.S. firm has created about 2,000 full-time jobs, the company said.

“The strikes will not affect us keeping our word to our customers, as the overwhelming majority of our workers are continuing their normal work,” Amazon Germany told The Associated Press.

Cyber Monday deals from Amazon

Meanwhile, Amazon has revealed its deals for Cyber Monday. On the same day last year, Amazon broke records by selling 740 items per second, notes CNET. The retailer offers fresh deals each day throughout the Cyber Monday Deals Week.  The deals revealed for Cyber Monday are similar to ones offered on Black Friday, especially if we’re talking about deals on Amazon’s own products like Echos and Kindles.

There are new deals too. The company is offering lucrative deals on smart TVs, video games and toys from brands like Lego and Nerf. Those planning to shop via Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant can access the deals early, i.e. at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Despite the strike on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Amazon shares were in the green. At 9:36 a.m. EST, Amazon shares were up 0.80% at $1,165.41. Year to date, the stock is up over 55%, while in the last one month, it is up over 19%. For the Cyber Monday deals, you can visit this link.

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