Tech Industry

Amazon faces yet another strike in Germany

German union Verdi, which has been battling with Amazon over worker wages, calls for a strike during the busy holiday shopping season.

Amazon is expected to bring on an additional 10,000 workers in Germany during the holiday shopping season. Ken James/ Amazon

German labor union Verdi called on Amazon fulfillment center workers to strike Monday, saying holiday shopping orders put extra pressure on workers. And at least some workers have answered that call.

Verdi, which represents retail workers across Germany, expects up to 450 workers at the Amazon Bad Hersfeld fulfillment center to strike today, Reuters reported. Verdi will continue to call on workers to strike as long as the e-commerce giant fails to make changes to its employment policies, the union said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Verdi has been battling Amazon for the last year over wages and how fulfillment center workers are defined under German law. Verdi, which has organized several strikes at Amazon warehouses across Germany, argues that Amazon's workers across Germany should be considered mail order and retail employees -- putting them in an industry that has higher average wages -- and not logistics workers. Amazon has said the workers are logistics employees and they make wages that exceed industry standards in Germany.

It's unclear what kind of impact this latest strike might be having on Amazon, but it seems unlikely to prompt the company to change its stance on wages and other employment policies.

As it did last year, Verdi is using the busy holiday shopping season to try and force Amazon's hand. This is a crucial time for Amazon as it works to fulfill orders placed around the world. If too many workers walk off the job, it could disrupt deliveries.

The trouble for Verdi, however, is that a relatively small number of workers are actually striking. Amazon employs about 10,000 workers across its nine distribution centers in Germany, according to Reuters, and brings on another 10,000 during the holidays. That around 450 people have gone on strike is unlikely to have a profound impact on the company.

Verdi has staged similar strikes over the past year. While up to a few hundred people have walked off the job, Amazon remained able to fulfill orders without any delay.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.