Amazon Workers Stage Strike In Germany

Several hundred workers are striking again at Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) warehouses in Germany, rallying for fair wages and benefits through the holiday shipping seasons.

The one-day warning strike today, Nov. 25, at Amazon's distribution centers in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig is the latest of several as the Ver.di union pushes for industry-wide wage agreements similar to those in effect for retail and mail-order workers.

About 600 workers at Amazon's Bad Hersfeld site and another 400 at its Leipzig facility are taking part in the strikes, with union officials threatening to take more action beyond those two centers during the busy Christmas holiday season.

Amazon, as is their policy in Germany and elsewhere, has refused to engage in any collective bargaining with employees. The company has not commented on today's strikes, but has said in the past that its German workers earn salaries that are at the higher end of the pay scale of the German logistics sector. The company also issued a one-time payment of 400 euros to 600 euros ($542 to $813) for November. Amazon has already agreed to pay Christmas bonuses but Ver.di says the concession isn't enough and it "is in Amazon's hands" whether there are more strikes.

Amazon employs about 9,000 people at its nine German logistics centers, with Bad Hersfeld the largest site with over 3,000 employees. Sales there grew almost 21 percent in 2012 to $8.7 billion, representing a third of its overseas total.

The union for workers in Leipzig has organized several short strikes this year in an effort to force Amazon to agree to increased pay and improved employment conditions.

For more see:
-This Wall Street Journal article
-This International Business Times article

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