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Amazon may see more strikes in Germany over pay dispute

German labor union Verdi calls on workers at five distribution centers to strike, saying Amazon is underpaying employees.

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

An Amazon fulfillment center in Nevada. Ken James/ Amazon

Verdi, a labor union that represents retail workers in Germany, is again calling on workers at Amazon distribution centers across the country to strike.

On Monday, Verdi said it requested workers at five Amazon facilities to walk out on the job in protest of pay. The distribution centers are located in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Graben, Werne and Rheinberg, according to a Verdi statement obtained by Reuters. Three facilities -- Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig and Graben -- were asked to go on strike Monday through Wednesday, while those at the other facilities were called on to strike on Monday and Tuesday, reported Reuters.

Amazon and Verdi have been waging a war of words over payment for years, with the labor union arguing that Amazon's 9,000 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 are make wages that exceed industry standards in Germany.

Several strikes have occurred at Amazon facilities in Germany over the last year. In June, more than 600 Amazon workers in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig walked off the job following a pay dispute, and in March, about 500 workers at a Leipzig distribution center went on strike. Amazon has continuously said the strikes are relatively small and fail to disrupt its shipping times.

Still, the back-and-forth has shown no signs of slowing down. Both sides are maintaining their position, and more strikes are likely to come. So far, the strikes have been too small to cause any change in Amazon's position.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.