Dec 12, 2013
On Monday, Dec. 16, CWAers and other union activists will rally outside Amazon's worldwide headquarters in Seattle to show their solidarity with Amazon workers in Germany who are holding a rolling strike.
The Amazon Germany workers, members of ver.di, have been holding a series of rolling strikes to push the company to negotiate with ver.di. Currently, the Amazon workers aren't covered by the negotiated agreement for the retail and mail order trades industry. That means Amazon workers in Germany earn several thousand dollars a year less than other warehouse workers because Amazon arbitrarily sets its wage rate. The Amazon workers also have fewer benefits and a more hostile work environment.
Sometime over the Dec. 16-20 period, Amazon workers in Graben, Bavaria, will join the rolling strike; ver.di members in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig also will be on strike.
There are about 9,000 permanent and approximately 6,000 to 10,000 non-permanent Amazon workers at eight locations in Germany. Working conditions are very stressful and workers face constant monitoring and supervision.
So far, Amazon has refused to negotiate with ver.di, but Frank Bsirske, the head of ver.di, said, "We are not going to let a big American company come here and play Wild West. This is a clash of cultures."
At Amazon headquarters in Seattle, ver.di Amazon workers will be joined by union members from Washington State, including activists from CWA, UFCW, SEIU, Teamsters and the AFL-CIO.