I know this probably doesn’t do Carla Rising’s otherwise “excellent” relationship with Amazon any favors, but here’s a translation of the latest news from the proud, noble German newspaper, the Thuringer Allgemeine. (Check to see if the Washington Post has this….)
(Leipzig, December 21, 2015; 4 pm) — The strike at the Amazon (warehouse) in Leipzig will continue through December 24th, according to the Verdi trade union, adding that the company’s Christmas orders could be delayed.
“With prolonged applause, the strikers showed great determination to extend this strike until the end of the early shift on December 24,” said Verdi spokesman Thomas Schneider. “We will be picketing before the front door until Thursday, when Santa Claus arrives.” About 200 workers gathered in front of the company warehouse on Monday morning (12/21), Schneider said. By midnight the union said it was expecting about 450 union pickets. At the same time, it was said that strikers were picketing Amazon facilities in other German towns — Bad Hersfeld, Rheinberg, Werne, Koblenz and Graben.
“The strike at six Amazon sites (in Germany) will lead to delays in the Christmas orders,” confirmed Verdi section chief Jörg Lauenroth-Mago. “We will not accept any refusal of this by Amazon,” he said, adding that the leadership of the mail-order section must commit to a collective-bargaining agreement.
The Verdi trade union had regularly called for a strike during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
“We want to put some pressure on Amazon,” said Schneider. Just before the weekend, Amazon announced that deliveries would be on time despite the walkout. A Monday strike was announced even at the Amazon facility in Koblenz.
The union wants to enforce a collective agreement for the approximately 10,000 employees of the US company in Germany, in both the retail and mail-order levels. The terms, according to Verdi, include a 38-hour workweek and (the standard German) six weeks of vacation per year. In addition, the union is demanding 1,000 euros in Christmas holiday pay and bonuses in a similar amount.
Amazon is categorically rejecting any negotiation on these issues.