Bezos’ Woes in Europe Continue: Amazon Workers Strike In Germany

Business, European Politics, Germany, Rundown

Thousands of workers from Amazon’s six logistic warehouses in Germany scheduled a one-day strike on the same date as Prime Day, the biggest annual shopping event of the US e-commerce giant.

Employees from Germany have decided to follow the labor movements initiated by their counterparts from Spain and Portugal to express their dissatisfaction with their current labor contracts.

In Spain, close to 2,000 workers started a three-day strike on Monday. The Spanish Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and General Workers’ Union (UGT) stated that 80 per cent of workers left their posts at Amazon’s largest packing and distributing warehouse in the country.

In Poland, employees are currently staging a “work to rule” form of strike where they report for duty but perform minimum work output.

The Verdi Services Union launched the one-day strike in Germany to demand better labor contracts and improvement of working conditions at fulfilment centres.

According to Verdi union, Amazon has refused involvement in collective bargaining since 2013.

Verdi’s top official responsible for the retail sector, Stefanie Nutzenberger said, “The message is clear – while the online giant gets rich, it is saving money on the health of its workers.”

On the other hand, Amazon was unfazed by the workers’ strike. They expected that only a fraction of its 12,000 employees in Germany will join the strike so it would not affect Prime Day deliveries.

According to Amazon, fulfilment center positions offered competitive pay and comprehensive benefits from the first day of employment. Permanent staff earn 12.22 euros ($14.31) an hour or more after two years.

Ongoing industrial actions in Europe comes on the heels of Monday’s announcement that Jeff Bezos is the richest man in modern history. The net worth of Amazon.com founder and CEO hits the $150 billion mark.  Shares of Amazon.com continued to be on the upswing in the past week, hitting new highs and grew 1.2% to $1,843.93 Tuesday.