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German union calls on Amazon workers to strike on ‘Black Friday’

The Black Friday strike in Germany affects five out of Amazon's 20 logistic sites in the country
The Black Friday strike in Germany affects five out of Amazon's 20 logistic sites in the country - Copyright AFP Manolis LAGOUTARIS
The Black Friday strike in Germany affects five out of Amazon's 20 logistic sites in the country - Copyright AFP Manolis LAGOUTARIS

Union Verdi called on workers at online retail giant Amazon in Germany to go on strike on the annual “Black Friday” shopping extravaganza, in their battle for better working conditions.

The industrial action began in the night to Friday, and affects five out of Amazon’s 20 logistic sites in Germany including Leipzig, Rheinberg, and Dortmund.

Amazon in a statement shrugged off the impact on the strike during the busy shopping season.

“Clients can count on reliable and punctual deliveries as usual,” it said, adding that workers already benefit from “fair wage and good additional benefits”.

Starting wages are at 14 euros ($15.30) and up per hour, the company said, above Germany’s minimum wage of 12 euros.

It added that more than half of its employees have been working for the group for more than five years.

But Verdi is pushing for the company to recognise the regional collective agreements of the retail and mail order sector.

“Only collective agreements offer workers binding protection from arbitrary company policies,” said Silke Zimmer, who heads the union’s retail sector.

“The workers at Amazon have renamed Black Friday as Make Amazon Pay Day,” she added.

Held the day after Thanksgiving, “Black Friday” is increasingly copied in Europe and beyond, with stores offering deep discounts to kick off the holiday gift-giving season.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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