Warehouse workers employed by Amazon in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Koblenz, Rheinberg, and are standing together, and going on strike to demand better pay and secure working contracts. UNI Global Union’s affiliate, ver.di announced the strike, for 10 and 11 October coinciding with Prime Day in Germany, one of Amazon’s biggest sales days in the country.
Mathias Bolton, Head of Commerce for UNI Global Union, voiced his support, saying, “Workers say that Prime Day pushes them harder than Amazon’s already brutal pace. In Germany, ver.di members are demanding safer jobs and better compensation. Workers in these German warehouses and across the globe deserve recognition for making the company successful, not just through words but in tangible forms like fair pay and humane production goals. Amazon must listen to its workforce who is demanding fairness and recognize workers’ fundamental rights to collective bargaining and decent conditions.”
For ten consecutive years, workers in Germany have been pushing against the tech giant for a comprehensive collective agreement, advocating for higher wages and secure contracts. Monika Di Silvestre, Verdi’s nationwide coordinating trade union secretary, said, “The employees need material security, especially in the crisis, and they will only receive that with a proper collective agreement.”
The impact of the Prime Day strikes is likely to be amplified, due to the surging sales during this period. Previous Prime Day statistics indicate that in the summer sale, over 375 million items were sold globally, while the total sales for the two-day event in July were estimated at a staggering US$12.9 billion.
Campaign spearheaded by ver.di is having an impact. The hourly wages have seen gradual increases over the years, with the latest being a raise to 14 Euros an hour for beginners from September 2023.