WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Amazon warehouse workers in Germany are on strike on Prime Day, joining Poland and Spain.
- Thousands of workers are walking off the job today, protesting poor working conditions, long hours and reduced medical pay rates.
- Amazon announced that the strike will not affect its service and will continue to process orders during Prime Day.
Thousands of Amazon warehouse workers in Germany, Poland and Spain are on strike on Prime Day—Amazon’s “one-day only global shopping event exclusively for Prime members.”
The Verdi services union planned the Prime day strike to get a more favorable contract that guarantees better working conditions at Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
“The message is clear – while the online giant gets rich, it is saving money on the health of its workers,” said Stefanie Nutzenberger, a federal executive handling the retail sector of the German trade union Verdi.
All six Amazon facilities in Germany are joining the one-day strike which coincides with Amazon’s fourth annual Prime Day summer sale promotion. According to Verdi, Amazon workers in Spain are holding a three-day strike while a work to rule is being staged in Poland.
Amazon claims that the strike will not impact Prime Day orders and deliveries as only a fraction of its 12,000 workers in Germany are expected to join the strike.
There have been reports, however, from different outlets that Amazon’s website crashed as soon as the sale began.
The world’s largest e-commerce company also noted that workers at Amazon fulfillment centers enjoy “competitive pay and comprehensive benefits from the first day of employment.” After two years, those with permanent status earn 12.22 euros ($14.31) an hour or more.
“We believe Amazon’s Fulfillment Center jobs are excellent jobs providing a great place to learn skills to start and further develop a career,” the company said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
Germany is Amazon’s second largest international market next to the U.S. Amazon’s annual report shows that net sales increased by 20 percent in 2017 to $17 billion, accounting for 9.5 percent of the total.