ver.di members demand living wage, safer working conditions, and a fair collective agreement
Amazon workers across Germany are on strike this week, demanding a collective agreement, a living wage, and safer jobs.
Workers at warehouses in Rheinberg, Werne, Bad Hersfeld, Koblenz, and Leipzig have walked off the job.
“The employees are going on strike because they want living wages and good working conditions. They demand that Amazon no longer dictates working conditions unilaterally,” said ver.di board member Stefanie Nutzenberger.
“The strikes are also taking place under the auspices of the current collective bargaining round in the retail and mail-order sectors. Amazon workers demand an increase in real wages and collective bargaining, so that the company does not squeeze wages and working conditions at the expense of all employees and other companies. ver.di demands that the collective bargaining agreements in the retail trade finally be declared universally binding in order to reverse the dramatic erosion of collective bargaining. A general binding obligation would then also apply to Amazon,” Nutzenberger said.
This desire for an agreement was expressed multiple times on the picket line.
“I don’t like to strike. I’d rather be at the negotiating table reaching an agreement, but Amazon refuses to talk with us,” said Amazon worker Roberto Garau in Rheinberg.
The strike comes on the heels of a gathering of Amazon workers and unions from 16 countries, and the solidarity built in that meeting has continued on to the strike. Unions from around the world are sending messages of support for the striking workers.
“The fight against Amazon’s corporate greed is one of the most important labour struggles in recent history. Amazon’s appalling treatment of workers, its disregard of labour unions, and its unethical tax avoidance are unacceptable. Global problems require global solutions, and unions from around the world are coming together to reform Amazon,” said Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary.