Amazon workers in Germany expand strike during the Easter period
Verdi, the United Services Union, is calling on workers at the Amazon distribution centres in Rheinberg and Werne (both in North Rhine Westphalia), Bad Hersfeld (Hesse) and Koblenz (Rhineland Palatinate) to come out on strike once again on Monday and Tuesday (30 – 31 March 2015). The work stoppage will start on Monday with the night shift in Bad Hersfeld. Workers in Rheinberg, Werne and Koblenz will join the strike at the beginning of the early morning shift. The strikes will continue until the end of the late shift on Tuesday. After the successful strike by workers at the Amazon logistics centre in Graben this week, the baton will be passed on to the other Amazon centres as part of the union’s flexible strike strategy. The strike will end in Graben on Saturday (28 March 2015).
“By deciding to strike over the Easter period, workers have proven their staying power and are being more assertive in demanding their rights. They want a collective agreement which guarantees a living wage as well as reliable and good working conditions. Amazon has the power to provide security to its employees and customers by ending its anti-worker attitude once and for all and negotiating a collective agreement with us”, said Verdi national executive member Stefanie Nutzenberger.
Workers at Amazon have been fighting for a collective agreement for two years. Amazon, which is by far the largest online retailer worldwide, is adamantly refusing to negotiate such an agreement and intends to continue to dictate working conditions unilaterally and arbitrarily. The high rates of temporary contracts, constant pressure to perform and regular feedback discussions which are used to put pressure on employees have created a situation where the sickness rate at Amazon is uncommonly high.