This content is not available in your region

German union calls for Amazon workers to strike on 'Prime Day' over pay and working conditions

The strike will coincide with Amazon's "Prime Day".
The strike will coincide with Amazon's "Prime Day".   -   Copyright  Mark Lennihan/Associated Press
By Euronews and Reuters

A German trade union called on workers at seven Amazon warehouses to go on strike on Monday for several days to coincide with the global Prime Day promotion.

Verdi said it was organising the three-day strike as part of a long-running battle with the US tech giant in Germany over better pay and working conditions.

"The workers in the mail order centres have to cope with the rush of customers and don't get a cent more for the additionally intensified workload," said Verdi representative Orhan Akman in a statement.

Germany is Amazon's biggest market after the United States, and the Verdi union has been organising strikes at Amazon in the country since 2013 to protest low pay and poor conditions.

The company's work practices were once again in the public eye earlier this month after a health and well-being video for staff posted to its Twitter feed was widely mocked.

The video showed proposed "ZenBooths" - a cabin where staff could go to meditate and focus on their mental health. Social media users dubbed them "despair closets".

Amazon raising minimum wage

An Amazon spokesperson told Reuters that the company offers excellent pay and benefits. It has said during past calls for strikes over 90 per cent of employees in the logistic centres worked as normal.

Earlier this month, Amazon said it will guarantee an entry-level wage at its German warehouses of €12 an hour from July, which will rise to at least €12.50 per hour from autumn 2022.

Amazon holds Prime Day to boost summer sales. The member-only discounts are an important way Amazon markets Prime, a fast-shipping and media-streaming service that incentivises subscribers to do more shopping on Amazon.

The company was further criticised after it emerged Amazon paid no corporation tax in Europe last year despite seeing a record sales income of €44 billion.