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German Amazon workers strike as platform prepares for big Prime Day sale

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By Alice Tidey
German Amazon workers strike as platform prepares for big Prime Day sale
Copyright  REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo   -  

German Amazon workers are striking for better wages on Monday as the company marks its annual Prime Day sale event, trade union Verdi has announced.

Workers in seven facilities — in Werne, Rheinberg, Leipzig, Graben, Koblenz and two locations in Bad Hersfeld — went on strike on Sunday evening, demanding "no more discount on our incomes."

"While Amazon blows its prices with hefty discounts on Prime Day for bargain hunters, employees are denied a viable living wage," Orhan Akman, Verdi's trading expert, said in a statement.

The union, which also held a strike during Amazon Prime Day last year, is calling on the US e-commerce giant to agree to a collective wage agreement — a deal struck between unions and employers which establishes detailing conditions of employment including minimum wage — which are common in the country.

"The money is there, in the first quarter of this year alone, Amazon reportedly achieved a record global profit of about €3.2 billion," Verdi's statement said.

According to the union, Amazon employs 16,000 people in Germany in some 30 locations including storage facilities, shipping and calling centres as well as research and development facilities.

In 2017, sales in Germany amounted to €15 billion — just under a tenth of the global figure of $177.9 billion (€157.8).

Prime Day was "the biggest global shopping event in Amazon history" last year with over 100 million products purchased and the company recording more new Prime members than on any previous day in his history.