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German Amazon warehouse workers protest over working conditions

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 13:54 EDT
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Employees of online retailer Amazon take part in a demonstration organised by union ver di in Bad Hersfeld, central Germany, on April 9, 2013. (AFP)
 
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Hundreds of workers at the biggest German-based site of online retailer Amazon demonstrated on Tuesday, according to a trade union which plans strike action over better working conditions.

Some 500 people protested at a site in western Bad Hersfeld, which employs more than 3,000 staff and is among seven Amazon sites in Germany, Heiner Reimann, spokesman for the Verdi services sector union, told AFP.

He said it was the first ever workforce mobilisation at Amazon in Germany and voiced satisfaction with the outcome.

Verdi is pushing for changes to the way Amazon workers’ contracts are organised but several rounds of talks with management have so far failed to resolve the issue.

On Friday, Verdi union members at another Amazon site in the eastern city of Leipzig voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, although the form and date were not yet known.

A similar consultation with staff at Bad Hersfeld will be held before the end of the month, Reimann said.

In February, Amazon was at the centre of a scandal after a public television documentary showed that workers brought in from debt crisis-hit countries such as Spain to help at Amazon warehouses faced bullying from security personnel, some of whom wore clothing associated with neo-Nazi groups.

The company later said it had cut ties with the security firm at the centre of the allegations.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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