© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado July 23, 2008. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
BERLIN (Reuters) -German union Verdi has called on staff at seven Amazon (NASDAQ:) distribution centres to strike over Sunday evening’s night shift in a bid to force the retailer to accept the union’s sectoral collective bargaining agreement.
Amazon said it was relaxed about the strike, and said it anticipated no impact on operations.
The union – one of Germany’s biggest – said that although Amazon had repeatedly increased wages over recent years, the impact of this on staff had been moderated by extended working hours and low to non-existent compensation for public holiday shifts.
“Our active colleagues, who have been fighting for years for a collective pay agreement with Amazon, deserve our respect for the courage they keep showing in this confrontation with the employer,” said Verdi official Stefanie Nutzenberger.
The strike action is timed to coincide with Amazon’s discount “Prime Day”, when heavy sales volumes are expected.
“We began our preparations for Prime Day weeks ago,” said an Amazon spokesperson. “All logistics employees already earn a gross 12 euros upwards an hour. We’ve already announced an increase to at least 12.50 an hour from the autumn.”
Verdi said it had called the strike at distribution centres in Augsburg, Leipzig, Koblenz, Rheinberg, Werne and two centres in Bad Hersfeld.
Its members employed by Amazon have been on strike many times before over pay and conditions.