German unions urge Amazon workers to strike on Black Friday
Berlin, Nov 25: The German trade union Verdi called several thousand Amazon workers in Germany to go on strike on Friday for higher wages.
On Black Friday, workers in 10 of the 20 warehouse and shipping centers will stop work, the union said on Thursday.
Verdi is demanding better working conditions and the recognition of the collective agreements of the retail and mail order trade.
The walkout is part of the international day of action "Make Amazon Pay", in which trade unions and organizations in over 20 countries, including the US and France, are taking part.
The international strike day is "important" because a global company like Amazon cannot be countered "locally, regionally or nationally," the union said.
Amazon doesn't expect interruptions
The company itself does not expect any impact on customers in Germany from the strikes. At Amazon, preparations for Black Friday week "started months ago," the company said.
Amazon employs over 20,000 permanent logistics workers in Germany.
According to Amazon, the starting wage in the company, including bonuses, is almost €13 ($13.50) per hour. After two years of working, the average annual wage exceeds €33,000 ($34,340).
Black Friday is a colloquial term in the US for the Friday after Thanksgiving when many retailers give large discounts. It has long been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States and the tradition is now spreading to other countries.