Bloomberg News

Amazon Germany Workers Consider Multiday Walkouts, Union Says

June 03, 2013

Unions That Built Germany Eroded by Rules Buoying Economy

Employees of online retailer Amazon take part in a demonstration organised by union Ver.di in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, on April 9, 2013. Photographer: Uwe Zucchi/AFP/Getty Images Inc. (AMZN:US) workers in Germany consider extending their strikes to span several days after the company’s local management refused to negotiate over collective bargaining agreements and higher pay.

“We’re considering moving from single-day strikes to walkouts lasting multiple days,” Joerg Lauenroth-Mago, lead negotiator for the Ver.di union, said by phone today.

The union today called employees at the Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig sites to go on strike for the third time since May 14, increasing pressure on the Seattle-based retailer, which drew scrutiny in Germany this year after a documentary aired on ARD television accusing it of exploiting migrant workers. About half of Amazon’s 5,300 staff in the two cities are participating in today’s walkouts, Lauenroth-Mago said.

Ver.di’s demands include raising minimum pay to 10.66 euros ($13.88) an hour from 9.30 euros in Leipzig and to 12.18 euros from 9.83 euros in Bad Hersfeld, and to pay extra for night shifts starting before midnight. A Munich-based Amazon spokeswoman declined to immediately comment and a written request to the press office wasn’t immediately answered.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cornelius Rahn in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at

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