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October 7, 2013

Amazon workers in Germany threaten to strike work over pay disputes

Amazon claims their pay is at the level of benchmark wage of logistics workers

By CBR Staff Writer

Workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Germany are threatening to go on strike during this year’s Christmas, over pay disputes that has been intense for months, affecting deliveries to consumers during the crucial holiday season.

The workers union is reportedly trying to talk to the online retailer to allow combined negotiating agreements for staff as per the mail order and retail industry sector standard for warehouse workers’ pay at the company’s distribution centres in Germany.

However, Amazon said that the members of staff in its distribution centre are logistics workers and their pay is at the level of benchmark wage for that industry.

German weekly Der Spiegel cited Verdi’s Heiner Reimann as saying: "If I were Amazon I would not rely on being able to make all deliveries to customers on time before Christmas."

The services trade union Verdi has warned that it would demand strikes when it would harm Amazon the most and only serious bargaining with the firm would avoid them.

In a statement Amazon Germany spokeswoman said, "Job descriptions for staff are typical of the logistics industry such as the storage, packaging and dispatch of goods."

Last week, the online retailer revealed plans to hire over 70,000 full-time workers at the company’s fulfilment centres in the US in the run-up to Christmas.

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