German Amazon workers on strike
Walk out over pay and conditions
Members of the German labour union Verdi walked out on Monday as part of a long running dispute over pay and conditions in Amazon warehouses.
The union said that Amazon employees suffered from excessive pressure, rigid workplace controls, high sickness rates and arbitrary decisions, such as a cut in annual holidays at the Leipzig warehouse to 28 days from a previous 29 days.
Verdi said in a statement that workers at six of the nine Amazon warehouses were joining the strike which will run until December 24 at four of the centres and for shorter periods at the others.
Germany is Amazon’s second-biggest market after the United States with 10,000 warehouse staff plus more than 10,000 seasonal workers.
Verdi has organized frequent strikes at Amazon since May 2013 as it seeks to force the retailer to raise pay for warehouse workers in accordance with collective bargaining agreements in Germany's mail order and retail industry.
Reuters reported that Amazon had repeatedly rejected the union's demands, saying it regards warehouse staff as logistics workers.
In the UK thousands have pledged to boycott Amazon over Christmas. Campaign group Amazon Anonymous estimate that their campaign has cost the company around £2.4million in the run up to Christmas.
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