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Union targets Amazon with fresh strikes

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Union targets Amazon with fresh strikes
Photo: DPA
12:25 CEST+02:00
Germany's second biggest union will target online retail giant Amazon with a fresh round of strikes over the next few weeks.

Union Verdi, which represents the online retailer's 9,000 staff in Germany, will strike against Amazon in the coming weeks, Verdi confirmed on Friday.

A spokesperson for the union told The Local the strikes would take place but was unable to provide specifics. "We have planned strategic strikes which will happen in the next weeks and will not be announced publicly beforehand," she said.

The union would not disclose the location of the industrial action, which could occur at any of the company's nine distribution centres, she said.

The strikes would be the latest action in a dispute over pay and conditions which began in spring 2013. Workers are calling for work and wage conditions to match the national retail and mail order industry agreements.

While strikes could be called off if Amazon agrees to wage negotiations, the plan will remain in effect as long as "Amazon continues to be stubborn on the topic," the spokeswoman said.

So far, Amazon's management has refused to budge on the issue of pay, arguing that its distribution centres are logistics sites and that it already pays staff a fair wage. Wages in the logistics sector in Germany are lower than in distribution.

The upcoming strikes would be the first since the beginning of June when several hundred German staff walked off the job at distribution centres in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig for the third time in a month.

Verdi also held a series of strikes during the busy Christmas season at locations in Leipzig, Augsburg and Bad Hersfeld. Over 1,000 employees left their posts to protest.

After the US, Germany is Amazon's second largest market.

SEE ALSO: Amazon workers down tools again 

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