Walk out strike action in Amazon, Rheinberg, Germany
Over 900 Amazon workers, members of the trade union Ver.di, walked out on strike yesterday after a mass meeting heard calls for Amazon to recognize the union and negotiate under the terms of the National Commerce Agreement that applies across the sector. This agreement covers the pay and conditions of workers across Germany and Amazon have refused to implement its terms, relying instead on the terms of an agreement in the logistics sector. Many of the jobs in Amazon are clearly not covered by logistics – warehouse workers, office and admin workers, sales, etc and are demanding they be covered by the relevant agreements.
This dispute has been ongoing for 4 years and Ver.di is now looking to escalate its actions this summer. Germany is the largest market and workforce that Amazon has in Europe.
The strength of the campaign and the membership of the union has been growing steadily since the dispute began. It continues to grow with more and more Amazon workers joining the union, in protest against the company. The workers are now moving to a series of lightning strikes with little or no notice across different centres at different times.
European and US solidarity has been discussed and agreed at the recent meeting of the Amazon unions Alliance in Poznan, Poland. Unions from France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Poland and the US discussed various ways to organize in the company and in particular how to support the German workers.