Home / World News / Amazon workers in Germany, Italy stage Black Friday strike – The Denver Post

Amazon workers in Germany, Italy stage Black Friday strike – The Denver Post

BERLIN — Workers at a half dozen Amazon distribution centers in Germany and one in Italy walked off the job Friday, in a protest timed to coincide with “Black Friday” to demand better wages from the American online giant.

In Germany, Ver.di union spokesman Thomas Voss said some 2,500 workers were on strike at Amazon facilities in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Werne, Graben and Koblenz. In a warehouse near Piacenza, in northern Italy, some workers walked off the job to demand “dignified salaries.”

The German union has been leading a push since 2013 for higher pay for some 12,000 workers in Germany, arguing Amazon employees receive lower wages than others in retail and mail-order jobs. Amazon says its distribution warehouses in Germany are logistics centers and employees earn relatively high wages for that industry.

The strikes in Germany are expected to end Saturday.

Amazon Germany defended its position, saying it was a “fair and responsible employer” that offers “attractive jobs.”

“The strikes will not affect us keeping our word to our customers, as the overwhelming majority of our workers are continuing their normal work,” the company told The Associated Press.

The Italian action, a one-day strike, was hailed by one of the nation’s umbrella union leaders, the UIL’s Carmelo Barbagallo, as having “enormous symbolic value because it’s clear that progress, innovation and modernity can’t come at the expense and the interests of workers.”

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