Sunday, November 28

Dispute over wages: New strikes at Amazon

Status: 01.11.2021 11:31 a.m.

At the online negotiator Amazon, there are again work stoppages in a dispute with the ver.di union. With strikes at seven locations, she wants to get the group to recognize collective agreements.

The service union ver.di has called on its members to strike in seven Amazon shipping centers. Verdi demands from Amazon to pass on the wage increases of the collective bargaining agreements achieved in the retail sector “immediately” to the Amazon employees. “It cannot be acceptable that a multi-billion dollar multinational company earns itself stupidly and still refuses to give its employees the wage increases that other companies in the industry pay their colleagues,” criticized Orhan Akman, ver.di federal expert group leader for retail and mail order.

The long-running conflict over wages and working conditions at the US group flares up again. Ver.di called for workers in Leipzig and at two locations in Bad Hersfeld, Hesse, to walk out of work today. The employees there should take on additional tasks at the locations in Germany and abroad that are not worked on in some federal states and neighboring countries due to the All Saints holiday. According to ver.di, employees at the locations in Werne, Rheinberg, Koblenz and Graben will also be called to strike at the start of the first work shift in the coming night.

Years of conflict

For more than eight years, the union has been asking Amazon to recognize the collective agreements for retail and mail order and to conclude a collective agreement for good and healthy work. “If Amazon had hoped that we would run out of air, the managers were wrong,” said ver.di. The duration of the strikes is still open, said a ver.di spokesman.

Amazon does not expect any effects on customers. The US group has 17 logistics centers in Germany alone. However, depending on the availability of the products, he also supplies his customers from his locations in other European countries. Parcels can come from Poland and in extreme cases even from the USA.

Company speaks of “excellent pay”

An Amazon spokesman said that the group offers “excellent pay, excellent additional benefits and excellent career opportunities”. The starting wages for all logistics employees have been at least twelve euros gross per hour “plus extras” since the summer. After 24 months, employees earned an average of 2750 euros gross per month.

Under the pressure of the strikes, Amazon has increased wages several times in recent years, ver.di announced. Nevertheless, the group pays less than comparable collective bargaining companies.

The Seattle group presented its quarterly figures last week. The new CEO Andy Jassy reported on many new hires and also on staff shortages. For the company, it causes more and more costs to be able to deliver even in the event of bottlenecks at certain locations. In the third quarter alone, the group hired 133,000 new employees. In total, he now employs almost 1.5 million full and part-time employees – around 30 percent more than a year ago. The costs rise faster than the sales, so the Amazon profit falls accordingly.

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