Amazon employees working at a distribution center in Leipzig, Germany are staging a second strike today over their wages and benefits packages.
A representative for Ver.di, a multi-service trade union with 2.1 million members, told the Wall Street Journal that around 250 workers – or half of the morning shift – went on strike initially. More are thought to have joined throughout the day, however.
The workers are reportedly striking over Amazon’s current pay scale, which doesn’t adopt industry-wide wage agreements made between firms who are often part of various employers’ associations in Germany.
Roughly 900 workers from Amazon’s distribution centers in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld, Hesse, carried out a similar demonstration on May 14. Other publications have suggested this number was as high as 1,100.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the union is demanding that staff wages rise to at least 10.66 euros per hour in Leipzig and 12.18 euros per hour in Hesse. Amazon is also being criticized for refusing to offer paid holiday or bonuses over the Christmas period. It’s also been suggested that higher hourly rates for night-time shifts currently kick in at midnight.
To push for the aforementioned wage increases, Ver.di has asked all of its members to put down their tools and stop all work in the Amazon distribution centers for the day.
“We want to show that Amazon is not some kind of idyllic world, but rather a place dominated by great dissatisfaction with working conditions,” Jörg Lauenrot-Mago, a representative for Ver.di said.
Amazon is yet to release an official statement on the matter, although the Wall Street Journal has cited a spokesperson saying:
“Our employees earn toward the upper end of the pay scale compared to other logistics companies. The entry wage for an Amazon employee is 9.30 euros [$12.02] an hour, plus bonus, after one year more than 10 euros, and after two years, employees get shares in the company.”
Amazon employs roughly 9,000 people in Germany across 11 different locations.