German union Verdi promises Amazon strikes

German union Verdi promises Amazon strikes

The German labour union Verdi, which has a longstanding battle with Amazon over wages, has threatened to organise another series of strikes this year.

According to Reuters, the union says Amazon is a retailer so should raise pay for its warehouse workers in accordance with collective bargaining agreements across Germany’s mail order and retail industry.

Verdi board member Stefanie Nutzenberger told the news agency: “Amazon counts as a retailer. They are a competitor of store and catalogue retailers… We are sticking with it and will continue our work stoppages, also at Christmas again if necessary."

Amazon, however, said its warehouse staff are logistics workers and already receive more than average pay for that industry. A spokesperson said the company was a fair and responsible employer.

Verdi has been fighting with Amazon over pay since 2013, when it started asking for warehouse staff to be paid a retail wage.

In September last year workers at five of Amazon’s nine distribution centres in Germany walked out in a two-day strike. The Union also criticised Amazon for overuse of temporary contracts, extreme work pressure, and a lack of regulation for breaks.