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Postbank workers stage all-day strike on Monday

Service sector labour union Verdi has called for a day-long strike for Postbank workers across Germany on Monday in an ongoing wage dispute.

Postbank workers stage all-day strike on Monday
Photo: DPA

Employees at Germany’s biggest retail bank chain in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Dortmund, Leipzig, Ludwigshafen, and Munich won’t be on the job, and Verdi is planning further strikes for the company’s 5,000 workers on Tuesday.

Wage negotiations between Verdi and Postbank are set to continue in their third round on Wednesday in Bad Neuenahr. The union is demanding an eight percent salary increase and lay-off protection until 2013. The job protection measures are meant to stave off job cuts as Deutsche Bank takes over Postbank in the coming months.

CHRISTMAS

Strikes hit Amazon in Germany in the run up to Christmas

Around 2,500 Amazon employees at seven sites across Germany were on strike on Tuesday and unions warned stoppages could continue up to Christmas.

Amazon parcel in factory
A parcel rolls along a conveyor belt at an Amazon packing facility in Gera, Thuringia. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Bodo Schackow

The strikes at so-called “fulfilment” centres, where Amazon prepares packages before delivery, began in two locations on Monday.

The Verdi union is calling on Amazon for an “immediate” salary increase of three percent this year, followed by a further 1.7 percent next year, in line with a collective agreement for the retail sector, to which the e-commerce giant does not adhere.

Amazon could not continue to “refuse wage increases that other companies in the sector pay”, Verdi retail head Orhan Akman said in a statement Monday.

Amazon, which operates 17 centres in Germany, argues it is a logistics company, a sector in which the terms of work are considered to be less burdensome for the employer.

Amazon said it did not expect the strike to have an impact on clients.

However, a Verdi spokesman said the stoppage could cause disruption, particularly in Amazon’s rapid-delivery “Prime” offering.

Strikes were likely to continue “until the end of the year”, the spokesman said, impacting on the busy Christmas shopping period.

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Verdi, which first called for strikes at Amazon in May 2013, organised demonstrations outside the fulfilment centres on Tuesday to protest poor working conditions.

Amazon — which has seen its business boom during the coronavirus pandemic as consumers increasingly shopped online — announced in September that it would open eight new centres in Germany, creating 3,000 jobs by 2022.

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