Germany: Amazon employees strike for Black Friday

the movement was to last until Saturday, with the aim of disrupting the sales operation on Friday (Photo: 123RF)

About 2,500 German employees of the American giant Amazon went on strike Thursday during the Black Friday sales to demand better working conditions, at the call of the union Ver.di which hailed a “success”.

“We call on the workers of seven Amazon shipping centers to a three-day strike,” the German services union said in a statement on Thursday.

Started on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, the movement was to last until Saturday, with the aim of disrupting Friday the Black Friday sales operation organized by the American giant.

Walkouts are planned in several logistics centers across the country, in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld, Rheinberg, Werne, Augsburg and Koblenz.

The Ver.di union estimated Thursday at “around 2,500” the number of strikers across Germany.

“It’s more than similar actions in the past. In view of the difficult conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a great success, ”said a spokesperson for the union to AFP.

The employees are called to a “silent strike”, without large gathering, because of the health context.

At this stage, the movement has “no consequence on delivery to customers, because most of the employees work normally,” Amazon assures AFP for its part.

Ver.di has for several years called on Amazon to recognize regional collective agreements that apply to retail and mail order, which the group has always refused to do.

The union is also asking the American giant to adopt an agreement to “ensure better protection of the health and safety of workers”.

According to Ver.di, “health protection measures” against the Covid-19 pandemic “are not being respected” in some Amazon centers in the country.

The union claims that two outbreaks of Covid-19, in Graben and Augsburg, recently led to the infection of more than a thousand workers.

Amazon employs 16,000 people in Germany, and some 10,000 more seasonal workers during this period, marked by the sales and the holiday season.


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