Photo: Afghan National Police
A major union called on employees at five German Amazon distribution centers to strike during Black Friday. This shopping day is often one of the busiest days of the year for web stores like Amazon. Through these actions, the union wants to strengthen its demands for more permanent jobs and more secure income for employees
The Verdi union reported that employees at Amazon branches in Koblenz, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Dortmund and Bad Hersfeld are leaving work. The union says it does so “to make clear who is making this change possible and who is still waiting for salary negotiations to begin.”
Verdi has been campaigning for a collective labor agreement at Amazon since 2013. Only such an agreement recognized by the employer protects employees from abuse. Now Verdi fears that Amazon will be able to withdraw previous agreements on higher wages and a better occupational health and safety policy without any problems.
Amazon describes working conditions and wages as “excellent.” “It is no coincidence that half of our colleagues have been with us for more than five years,” says a company spokesperson.
Employees of the US tech company are also taking action in other countries. For example, the truck drivers union announced a strike in Palmdale, California. In northern Italy, the work stoppage at Amazon in the province of Piacenza coincides with a general strike in the northern regions.
Protests against Amazon are scheduled to be held in a number of other countries, including the Netherlands. They are being advertised on the Make Amazon Pay Day website, created by labor unions, human rights and environmental organizations from more than two dozen countries.
Black Friday is a phenomenon that originated in the United States and is the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. Many retailers then lower their prices to earn as much as possible.
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