German Amazon workers strike demanding higher wages

German Amazon workers have gone on strike at five logistic centers, the Verdi labor union announced today. Verdi says the two-day stoppage is in support for a higher collective wage agreement.

The German Amazon workers walked at at 10pm GMT Sunday during the night shift at two centers in Bad Hersfeld. The walkout was joined by employees at three other centers in Rheinberg, Graben and Leipzig at 4am GMT on Monday, Verdi said.

Amazon has nine logistic centers in Germany – five of them are currently on strike.

Verdi members want German Amazon to offer a collective wage agreement in line with the requirements agreed in the country’s retail and logistics sector, rather than organizing its own pay policy.

According to Verdi, Amazon workers are paid several hundred euros less than their counterparts across the country.

Amazon has recently offered to pay employees in Graben 2.1% to 3% more. The union says it will not allow the company to arbitrarily dictate wages.

German Amazon Striker

A striker outside an Amazon center in Germany (Photo: Verdi)

Stefanie Nutzenberger, a Verdi board member, said:

“Only a collective wage agreement guarantees workers salaries and working conditions that secure their livelihood.”

Verdi also has several other complaints it says the company needs to address, including:

  • Irregular breaks,
  • Excessive work pressure,
  • Too many temporary contracts. German Amazon currently employs 23,000 workers, 14,000 of them are on temporary contracts.

German Amazon has had a difficult year. During the Christmas sales period several hundred workers walked out in protest. There have been a number of temporary walkouts across the country this year.