Amazon workers at German warehouse to strike again

FILE PHOTO: Amazon's JFK8 distribution center in Staten Island, New York City

BERLIN (Reuters) – Trade union Verdi on Sunday called on workers at a German Amazon warehouse to strike for the second time in a week to disrupt the processing of orders following the ‘Black Friday’ discount shopping sales on Nov. 27.

Scheduled to begin on Monday’s night shift and finish at the end of Tuesday’s late shift, the strike follows a three-day walkout between Thursday and Saturday last week in which more than 500 workers took part, Verdi said..

Verdi has been organising strikes at Amazon in Germany – the company’s biggest market after the United States – since 2013, along with other unions hoping to force the e-commerce company to recognise collective bargaining agreements that apply to retail employees at other firms.

An Amazon spokesman said the company offered “excellent” salaries and benefits and safe working conditions, and that these and its pay were comparable with other major employers in the region.

The U.S. retail giant has seen sales soar globally as restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus sent consumers online, making it difficult for some bricks-and-mortar shops to compete.

Verdi argues this has strengthened the case for higher wages, adding workers were not sufficiently protected against the spread of the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Jan Harvey)