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Amazon Germany workers walk out until Christmas

By Chris Dawson December 21, 2016 - 10:03 am

German Amazon workers who are members of the Ver.di Union have walked out on strike at the company’s Rheinberg and Werne fulfilment centres. The strike began this morning and is predicted to last through to Christmas Eve evening. Amazon workers at Koblenz have already been on strike since the 19th of December.

As a result of the workloads, shipping centers are experiencing significant bottlenecks and high costs for Amazon according to Ver.di. They claim that in Werne the previous strike caused “miles and miles of trucks” which could not be loaded or unloaded.

The flexible and random strike planning causes Amazon to keeps employees who are not needed except when a strike takes place. In Leipzig alone, about 7,000 so-called unproductive hours were running for the month of November 2016. “Amazons claim that the strikes have no effect belongs clearly to the realm of legends. The strike is expensive for the company” said Ver.di Federal President Stefanie Nutzenberger.

Unlike the unions in the UK who appear to have timed strike action to cause maximum disruption to consumers and wreck their Christmases, Ver.di have been calling strikes at Amazon since 2013. The disagreement is Amazon consider their warehouse staff as logistics workers and pay them accordingly, but Ver.di want them considered as retail or mail order employees for which they have a bargained a higher collective pay agreement.

Disruption to sellers using Amazon FBA should be minimal as Amazon are used to these strikes and doubtless will have moved your goods to alternative warehouses. Even if there are delays, as always Amazon carries the can and will deal with all irate customers and any increased logistics costs.

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