Amazon hit by first strike in Germany

May 14, 2013
Striking Amazon workers outside the company's logistics centre in Leipzig, Germany, on Tuesday. German employees of Amazon staged their first-ever walkouts on Tuesday as the US Internet retail giant was hit by a dispute over pay.

German employees of Amazon staged their first-ever walkouts on Tuesday as the US Internet retail giant was hit by a dispute over pay.

Employees at two logistics centres in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig launched a strike with the start of the early shift at 6:00 am (0400 GMT), the giant services sector union Verdi said.

In Bad Hersfeld, strikers planned to march to a rally in the city centre at around 11:00 am (0900 GMT), while employees in Leipzig rallied in front of the warehouse.

"There's a good atmosphere. The whole thing is really great," said Verdi's chief negotiator Joerg Lauenroth-Mago.

Verdi is demanding that Amazon's 9,000 employees in Germany be paid according to a sector-wide wage deal for the retail and mail-order industries.

But the head of Amazon Germany, Ralf Kleber, rejected such demands in recent press interviews.

Bad Hersfeld is the largest of Amazon's seven distribution centres in Germany, with a workforce of more than 3,000. The Leipzig site employs around 2,000 people.

Striking Amazon workers near the company's logistics centre in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, on Tuesday. Employees at two logistics centres in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig launched a strike with the start of the early shift at 6:00 am (0400 GMT), the giant services sector union Verdi said.

Amazon says it pays an hourly wage of 9.30 euros ($12) to employees in their first year and then 10 euros after that.

Verdi is calling for a minimum hourly wage of 10.66 euros for Leipzig.

Amazon's working conditions in Germany were the subject of a public television documentary earlier this year which accused the group of bringing workers in from crisis-hit countries such as Spain to work at Amazon warehouses.

The documentary alleged that employees were subjected to bullying from security personnel, some of whom wore clothing associated with neo-Nazi groups.

It also alleged that Amazon paid the workers less than advertised and that their belongings were regularly searched in the temporary housing they were provided.

Explore further: China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hundreds of Amazon workers in Germany demonstrate

Apr 09, 2013

Hundreds of workers at the biggest German-based site of online retailer Amazon demonstrated on Tuesday, according to a trade union which plans strike action over better working conditions.

Germany demands probe of Amazon work conditions

Feb 17, 2013

A German government minister called Sunday for a thorough probe into allegations that foreign seasonal workers hired in Germany by US online retail giant Amazon were harassed and intimidated.

Amazon fires German security firm amid probe

Feb 18, 2013

(AP)—Online retailer Amazon reacted to mounting criticism Monday by firing a security company named in a German television documentary about alleged mistreatment of foreign temporary workers.

Recommended for you

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

8 hours ago

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

Dec 20, 2014

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

Dec 20, 2014

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

Dec 20, 2014

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.