Amazon braced for Christmas chaos as workers strike over pay
Monday 16 December 2013
Internet giant Amazon is facing major disruptions going into the crucial Christmas shopping period as employees in the US and Germany go on strike.
Workers at Amazon’s logistic centres in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig and Graben in Germany, where the online business employs more than 9000 people, are striking over a long-term pay dispute.
German workers at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle are also participating in the strike. The Verdi union says that Amazon is not paying its staff a comparable wage to those of other warehouse staff in Germany, because the company has classified the employees as lower-paid logistics workers.
The union is also unhappy with what it calls Amazon’s practice of “constant monitoring” of workers, as well as what it claims are impossible workplace targets. After Amazon said it is to open three new distribution centres in Poland, German employees are reported to be nervous that their jobs will go to Polish workers if their own industrial action continues to disrupt business.
Amazon said that its staff at the striking workplaces in Germany are logistics workers who receive above-average pay for the industry.
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