German union Verdi calls for ‘Prime Day’ strike by Amazon workers

An Amazon.com box is pictured on the porch of a home in Golden, Colorado July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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BERLIN, July 10 (Reuters) – German trade union Verdi has called on staff at seven Amazon (AMZN.O) fulfillment centers to strike during Sunday night’s night shift in a bid to force the retailer to accept the contract sector collective of the union.

Amazon said it does not anticipate any impact to operations.

“Our active colleagues, who have been fighting for years for a collective wage agreement with Amazon, deserve our respect for the courage they continue to show in this confrontation with the employer,” said Stefanie Nutzenberger, head of Verdi.

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The strike is timed to coincide with Amazon’s “Prime Day” discount, when large sales volumes are expected.

The union – one of the biggest in Germany – said that although Amazon has repeatedly raised wages in recent years, the impact of this on staff has been moderated by extended working hours. and little to no pay for holiday shifts.

“There are no extended hours. This is nonsense,” an Amazon spokesperson said, adding that employees do not work on holidays under any circumstances.

“Our critics are demanding what we have already done: last year we increased salaries nationwide to 12 euros gross per hour and this fall we are increasing them again to at least 12.50 euros” , he added.

Verdi said he called strikes at distribution centers in Augsburg, Leipzig, Koblenz, Rheinberg, Werne and two centers in Bad Hersfeld.

Its members employed by Amazon have already been on strike several times over wages and conditions. Read more

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Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Hugh Lawson and David Evans

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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