At the mail order company Amazon in Leipzig there is a strike shortly before Easter. The strike began with the start of the night shift from Sunday to Monday and should last four days, the Verdi union announced on Monday. Because of the pandemic, the strikers should stay at home. The prognoses for participation turned out to be very different. While strike leader Thomas Schneider assumed that around 400 of the 1200 or so employees would take part, Amazon estimated their number to be less than ten percent, referring to previous holdings. According to Schneider, pickets distributed informational material to colleagues who did not participate at the entrances to the company premises.
A company spokesman described participation in the strike as “very low”. The night shift “started normally”. Amazon does not expect any effects. In previous strike calls, more than 90 percent of the employees in the logistics centers “worked normally,” it said. According to Amazon, the starting wage for employees is between 11.30 euros and 12.70 euros gross, depending on the location. After 12 and 24 months it increases automatically. After two years, employees earned an average of around 2600 euros gross per month.
The Verdi union has been fighting for a collective agreement in Leipzig for eight years. Amazon sees itself wrongly criticized. “We have become a projection screen for groups who seek attention for their issues,” it said in a statement. You work closely with the works councils in the logistics centers. The employees would benefit from “excellent wages, excellent additional benefits and excellent career opportunities”: “We prove every day that we are a good employer even without a collective agreement.”
Strike leader Schneider relativized the statements. If the company was this great, it wouldn’t have to advertise as much to get new employees, he said. The cooperation with the works council is also not as presented by Amazon. The company challenged the works council election in Leipzig twice.
In the United States, too, unions are at odds with Amazon. The deadline for a postal vote on an employee representative body in a logistics warehouse in the US state of Alabama ends on Monday. It would be Amazon’s first US location with employee representation in the company’s 26-year history.
Amazon employees stop working in Bad Hersfeld
Employees of the online retailer Amazon have temporarily stopped work in Bad Hersfeld. The strike started at midnight with the night shift from Sunday to Monday, a Verdi spokeswoman said on Monday. She reckons with around 500 strikers in the two plants. The strike is part of a nationwide campaign at six locations in Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony and is expected to last four days.
The strikers are demanding the recognition of the collective bargaining agreements for the retail and mail order business and a wage increase of 4.5 percent as well as an additional fixed deposit of 45 euros per month, from which lower wage groups in particular should benefit. The Verdi spokeswoman criticized that due to the high work pressure, it was hardly possible for employees to comply with applicable corona regulations in the plants.
Amazon rejected it on Sunday evening that anti-corona measures could often not be followed. More than 150 processes in the logistics network have been significantly adjusted, according to a company statement. “These include increased cleaning and disinfection intervals, temperature measurement when entering the building, mask requirement, 2-meter distance rules and staggered shift and break times.” The mail order company does not expect the strike to have any effects.
In the USA, too, unions are at odds with the online giant: The deadline for a vote on employee representation in a logistics warehouse in the US state of Alabama ends this Monday. It would be Amazon’s first US location with employee representation in the company’s 26-year history.
The Amazon share was ultimately listed in NASDAQ trading 0.78 percent firmer at 3,075.73 US dollars.
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Amazon share green Strike Amazon Leipzig company sees effects