UPDATE 1-Amazon workers in Germany strike again in protracted pay dispute

Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:03pm EDT

(Adds Amazon comment, estimate of number on strike)

BERLIN, March 31 (Reuters) - Hundreds of workers at online retailer Amazon in Germany went on strike on Monday, the first stoppage this year in a pay dispute that has dragged on for months.

A spokesman for the Verdi labour union had said that about 500 of around 1,200 workers at Amazon's distribution centre in Leipzig were expected to strike.

An Amazon spokeswoman said fewer than 340 workers took part and deliveries had not been delayed.

Amazon employs a total of 9,000 warehouse staff at nine distribution centres in Germany - its second-biggest market behind the United States - plus 14,000 seasonal workers.

Three of Amazon's German logistic centres were hit by stoppages in the run-up to Christmas, though the company said that deliveries were not affected.

Verdi wants Amazon to raise pay for workers at its German distribution centres in accordance with collective bargaining agreements for the mail order and retail industry.

Amazon, however, has rejected the demand, arguing that it regards warehouse staff as logistics workers and says they receive above-average pay by the standards of that industry. (Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Greg Mahlich and David Goodman)

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