© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employees handle packages at an Amazon logistic center in Mannheim, Germany, September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski
BERLIN (Reuters) – German union Verdi on Sunday called on workers at Amazon (NASDAQ:) warehouses across Germany to support rolling strikes in coming days in a protest over pay, aimed at maximising disruption to the online retailer’s pre-Christmas business.
The union said that, in response to pay hikes that had lagged inflation, it had called on workers at seven German distribution centres to down tools unannounced in strikes that would alternate between different locations.
Germany is Amazon’s biggest market after the United States, and Verdi has been organising strikes at the company’s German sites since 2013 in a long-running protest over low pay and poor conditions.
“Colleagues are furious and don’t want to be taken for fools by a company that makes billions in profits,” the union said.
Amazon, which does not recognise collective bargaining agreements in Germany, did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
Verdi said Amazon staff in Germany earned several thousand euros a year less than their counterparts at companies with collective bargaining rights.
It said alternating strikes would hinder Amazon management’s attempts to prepare for stoppages.
The union did not immediately respond to a question as to whether its Amazon members had been balloted over the strike action.
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