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Post, Amazon face Easter strikes

The trade union Verdi has announced strikes for Wednesday at the Deutsche Post (German Post) and Amazon, meaning that Easter cards and packages might not arrive on time.

Post, Amazon face Easter strikes
Photo: DPA

A speaker for Verdi said he expected that there would be delays in the delivery of packages and letters.

The strikes are to affect most of the country. Verdi estimate that around 1,5 million letters and 70,000 packets will face delays in delivery.

The strikes at Amazon are to carry on into Thursday and will affect distribution centres in Rheinberg, Werne, Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig.

The Verdi speaker warned that many Amazon customers should also expect delays in the arrivals of their packages.

The trade union is demanding a reduction in the working hours of Deutsche Post workers from 38.5 hours per week to 36 hours per week without a reduction in pay.

Personnel Manager at the Deutsche Post Melanie Kreis showed no sympathy for the action.

The Post has negotiated very constructively with Verdi, she said. She would do everything she could to minimise the effects of the strike on Deutsche Post customers, she added.

 

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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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