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Global Economy

ver.di calls for a strike at Amazon

The ver.di trade union is demanding higher wages for Amazon employees. Now she has called on the employees in the Bad Hersfeld distribution center to go on strike again. The strike that began on Friday night is intended to put pressure on the management, as the union announced in Frankfurt today. The strike should also include Saturday.

Compensation for rising costs demanded

"At the works meetings, it was repeatedly mentioned that the rising costs are a heavy burden for many employees," said union secretary Mechthild Middeke, according to a statement. "A colleague put it in a nutshell: If Amazon makes membership 28 percent more expensive for Prime customers and justifies this with rising costs, then we also have these rising costs and want compensation for them."

For years, the union has been trying, without success, to push through the collective bargaining agreement for the mail-order and retail trades at the US retail giant, or to conclude an in-house wage agreement. Amazon uses its own remuneration system. According to ver.di, the management has now declared at works meetings that a "wage determination process" will take place by the end of August.

According to the company, all employees in logistics pay at least 12 euros an hour plus extras. Already last year, an increase to "at least EUR 12.50 gross" was announced for the autumn of this year, as a spokesman explained. After 12 and 24 months of service, the salary increases automatically.

criticism of working conditions

The working conditions of the US group have been criticized for many years. According to ver.di, there is permanent monitoring of employees – where they are, whether they are talking to colleagues or when they take a break.

It was only in July that Amazon employees in seven distribution centers stopped working after ver.di called for a strike. The locations Graben near Augsburg, Leipzig, Koblenz, Rheinberg, Werne and two centers in Bad Hersfeld were affected.

By the end of this year, Amazon wants to hire 6,000 new employees in Germany, and the number of employees is then expected to rise to 36,000. At the end of 2021, the trading company employed a total of 1.6 million people worldwide, most of whom are still in the USA. This makes the group one of the largest private employers in the world.

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