Germany Amazon Strike : Fight for Christmas Bonus

Germany is experiencing Amazon Strike since the start of the night shift, and the online mail-order company Amazon has been on strike again in Graben near Augsburg. The Verdi union is demanding a Christmas bonus according to the collective agreement and calls the company’s previous payment “puny”.

The workers at the online mail-order company Amazon are on strike again. With the start of the night shift, the Verdi union called for a strike lasting several days.

Verdi is demanding a Christmas bonus as agreed. Instead, there was only a “measly annual special payment of 400 euros gross” for the Amazon employees, according to union secretary Sylwia Lech. “Immense pressure, ever higher demands and a lack of appreciation for employees have brought the barrel to overflow,” said a press release from the union.

Verdi points out that a Christmas bonus is not a luxury for many employees, because “the Christmas bonus is used to settle deferred payments,” explains Lech. The normal monthly wage is not enough for dentures, gifts or car repairs.

Without strike action, Amazon would not make any special surcharges or bonus payments says the union secretary: “Amazon will only do this if we strike them and only during this time to lure employees back to work.” Just three weeks ago, Amazon employees went on strike at the start of “Black Friday”.

The Amazon employees in the logistics centre in Graben are called on to strike again. The Verdi union has been calling for better working conditions and the introduction of a collective agreement for years.

“The employees at the Amazon site in Graben are outraged and angry,” said Sylwia Lech, trade union secretary for trade in the Augsburg district, in writing. Instead of appreciation in the form of a collectively agreed Christmas bonus, the employees would only have an annual special payment of 400 euros in November Pay.

Union calls for Christmas bonuses covered by collective agreements. To handle the Christmas business, the American mail-order giant hires around 500 additional seasonal workers every year. As Lech reports, Christmas is not only important for Amazon but also offers employees and their families a short period of relaxation and reflection.

Germany Amazon Strike : The Christmas bonus

It is not there to buy presents but is needed for deferred payments such as dentures, glasses, car repairs or outstanding bills. “This is why, in addition to the collectively agreed remuneration for the Bavarian retail and mail-order business, a collectively secured Christmas bonus is so significant, especially for Amazon employees,” explains Lech.

Amazon sharply denied the claim, claiming it was deliberately misleading the public with false numbers. According to its own information, the health department had not recorded any clusters of cases at Amazon, but could not name any specific numbers of infections. The health department will only be informed about those affected who live in the district, it said in writing. Since Sunday evening, Amazon employees have been called on to strike again for several days.

It is the third call in a few weeks. In the course of the “Black Friday” discount campaign at the end of November, around 300 Amazon employees had stopped working. To reduce Corona infection, the strike took place without a rally, as it is now. The union had advised employees to stay at home.

There was also a strike in Graben in mid-October on what is known as Prime Day, on which the online retailer lures with special offers. Around 300 employees also went out of work at that time.