Amazon workers strike in Germany over pay

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by euronews (in English)

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Hundreds of Amazon.com workers are on strike in Germany in a dispute over pay which has raged for months.

Amazon warehouse employees are paid as logistics workers. They want their salaries based on the more generous terms of the retail and mail order industries which, according to their union, would mean an extra 7,000 euros a year.

Mechtild Middek from the Verdi union said they don’t want to spoil the holidays for people who are waiting for presents: “We want to clarify our demands and what we stand for. Later, we will decide whether the strike continues. One or two Christmas packages might arrive late but I don’t think there’ll be no presents for Christmas.”

The union said up to 700 workers downed tools in Bad Hersfield, plus more than 200 in Leipzig.

Germany is Amazon’s second-biggest market after the United States. German sales grew almost 21 percent last year.

Amazon’s German boss says that the higher salaries are not justified because many of the staff are largely unskilled.

But the union is planning further pre-Christmas strikes.