Amazon hit by strikes in Germany

Mar 31, 2014
A traffic sign forbidding trespassing stands in front of the logistics center of internet retail giant Amazon in Bad Hersfeld, central Germany, on December 18, 2013

One of Amazon's key sites in Germany was the target of fresh walkouts by staff on Monday in an long-running wage dispute.

The services sector union Verdi has called for morning stoppages at Amazon's logistics centre in Leipzig.

And "participation has really been quite high," said Verdi spokesman Thomas Schneider.

He did not specify how many employees took part in the strike, but the group has a workforce of around 2,000 in Leipzig, of whom 700 are Verdi members.

Leipzig is one of Amazon's nine sites in Germany and has been regularly hit by walkouts over the past year.

Verdi has been trying for months to get Amazon to bring the pay of its 9,000 workers in Germany in line with in the distribution sector.

Amazon refuses, arguing that its distribution centres are logistic sites and that it pays its staff accordingly. Wages in the logistics sector in Germany are lower than in the distribution sector.

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Caliban
not rated yet Mar 31, 2014
Leave it to Bezos to try to make an artificial distinction between Distribution and Logistics --neither of which can occur without the other-- in order to squeeze a few extra of those sweet, sweet $$$ for deposit in the corporate coffers.

With the proceeds of this shifty accounting manouever, perhaps he plans to try to purchase Der Spiegel next...