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German Amazon employees are the latest to protest the company on Prime Day

German Amazon Workers Strike
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Thousands of workers at Amazon’s facilities in Germany went on strike Monday, making them the latest to use Prime Day to bring attention to the company’s working conditions.

The strikes officially started on Sunday evening, under the slogan “No more discount on our incomes.” They’re centered around  wages for Amazon employees in Germany, which workers say are not livable, CNN reports. Unions have asked for collective bargaining agreements to be established across Germany’s retail sector.

“While Amazon throws huge discounts to its customers on Prime Day, employees lack a living wage,” said Orhan Akman of Germany’s Verdi union, which helped organize the event.

More than 2,000 people reportedly participated in the strike. We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment, but have yet to hear back. 

Germany wasn’t the only place Amazon workers were protesting on Monday. Warehouse employees in Shakopee, Minnesota are also protesting the company. Those employees planned to strike for three hours at the start of the day shift and three hours at the start of the evening shift to put pressure on Amazon to offer employees safe and reliable jobs.

The Minnesota employees said that Amazon has failed to convert temporary employees into full-time ones and that the company often sets productivity quotas that are unsafe for employees. Workers at a warehouse on Portland, Oregon complained of sweltering heat and constant piercing alarms at that facility.

In the case of the Minnesota employees, Amazon noted that it already offers employees above-average wages ranging from $16.25 to $20.80 with benefits and that it has held the same productivity requirements for the facility since November 2018. It also said that 90% of the employees at the Minnesota plant are full time. 

European Amazon workers are no stranger to protesting. Workers have held a number of protests over the years including a demonstration during Prime Day last year that included employees in Italy, The United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain.

Last year’s protests were focused on the long working hours required by employees an Amazon’s facilities, which often do not result in bonuses for those employees. Workers claim that conditions are so strenuous that people have collapsed on the job from exhaustion. Employees in Germany and Italy also protested during Black Friday in 2017 for similar reasons.

Last year the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health named Amazon as one of the most dangerous places to work in the United States, citing seven warehouse worker’s deaths at Amazon facilities in the US since 2013.

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Emily Price
Emily is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her book "Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More at…
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