| FRANKFURT, April 29
FRANKFURT, April 29 Global internet retailer
Amazon.com could be facing its first strike in Germany
by warehouse workers seeking better pay and benefits.
Amazon employs around 9,000 people across Germany and has
come under fire from trade union Verdi for refusing to implement
a collective agreement on employment conditions, in keeping with
the country's other mail order and retail firms.
The union is also pressing for higher basic pay and bigger
supplements for night shifts.
Amazon workers in the eastern city of Leipzig voted in
favour of strike action earlier this month and staff at Bad
Hersfeld, a town in central Germany where 3,700 are employed,
joined them on Monday.
Verdi said almost 98 percent of those taking part in the
ballot at Bad Hersfeld voted in favour of strike action.
"Amazon's management should ... finally start talks on a
collective agreement," the union's negotiator Bernhard
A strike, which would delay deliveries to customers, could
come within weeks, Schiederig told Reuters, although no date has
Schiederig also told Reuters he thought a site visit by Peer
Steinbrueck, the opposition Social Democrat candidate for
chancellor, to Bad Hersfeld on Monday, where he met Amazon
Germany boss Ralf Kleber and labour representatives, had gone
But he said management had again refused to enter
negotiations on a collective agreement, though said they were
happy to hold further talks with Verdi.
In Leipzig, the union is calling for starting pay of 10.66
euros ($13.89) an hour, compared with 9.30 euros now. In Bad
Hersfeld, they want pay of 9.83 euro to be increased to 12.18.
Amazon Germany was not immediately available for comment on
Monday. It has previously said that it pays wages that are
The online retailer hit headlines in Germany in February
after it employed security staff from a company linked to a
neo-Nazi group who were bullying its employees.
Amazon has since terminated the contract, saying it
regretted the events.