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Amazon braces for strike outside Seattle headquarters

Employees who have been striking in Germany plan to up their efforts by taking the fight to Amazon at its headquarters in Seattle.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Amazon may soon have a demonstration on its hands at its Seattle headquarters, according to a new report.

Employees who have been on strike and demonstrating at two fulfillment centers in Germany plan to host a rally outside the company's headquarters in Seattle at 10 a.m. PT today, The New York Times reported, citing people involved in the rally.

The rally will be an offshoot of the ongoing dispute between Amazon and employees in Germany, where workers at two fulfillment centers have demonstrated against the company, arguing that they're not being treated properly.

"The workers are treated more as robots than humans," one of the organizers told the Times on Monday.

It's not clear exactly what they're looking for from Amazon.

Many of the workers from the German facilities will be making their way to Amazon's headquarters. The protesters told the Times that they hope people locally who are sympathetic to their efforts will also join in.

Amazon has responded to CNET's request for comment with an explanation of working conditions in Germany. See below from an Amazon spokeswoman:

The vast majority of our workers in Germany are not participating in these strike activities. We feel it is best to work directly with our employees, not through an intermediary. In Germany, there are established works councils, comprised of Associates elected by their peers, in eight of our fulfillment centers. We interact with the works councils regularly to create the best working environment possible for our Associates.

We actually pay more in total compensation than the "logistics" tariff that governs warehouse workers in Germany. Median pay after one year in our logistics centers is 5 percent higher than the logistics tariff in the respective regions. After two years and the first vesting of their stock associates on average earn 12 percent more compared to the logistics tariff. This includes a bonus and stock grants which over the past five years have added an average of eight percent to base pay annually.

Update 4:43 a.m. PT to include Amazon's statement.