Some German workers at Amazon.com are expected to walk off the job today, part of an ongoing protest organized by the labor union Verdi. The Wall Street Journal reports that hundreds of workers at fulfillment centers in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld are set to stage an all-day strike, beginning with the first shift.
Amazon employs about 9,000 in Germany.
Earlier this year, workers from Verdi protested at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, chanting that “we are humans, not robots.”
Frank Bsirske, chairman of Verdi, issued this statement about working conditions at Amazon late last year.
Based on the philosophy of Amazon, “work hard, have fun, make history” — one has to emphasize: it’s the employees of Amazon in Germany, who are now making history by taking to the streets for their demands. What is characterizing the corporate culture of Amazon will not be left into the hands of managers — the employees are now taking the initiative. These people are performing successful and reliable services day by day. With great justice, they call their employer for appreciativeness, respect and a clear commitment to the collective agreement of the retail and mail order business.
Amazon countered that it actually pays more than the “logistics” tariff that governs warehouse workers in Germany.
Verdi, meanwhile, wants Amazon to classify workers as retail employees, not warehouse workers.