German union tells Amazon workers to strike over Prime Day

Amazon workers are being called on to strike on Prime Day by German trade Union, Verdi.

Verdi announced it was organising a three-day strike in its latest battle against the US ecommerce giant in Germany, calling for better pay and working conditions.

“The workers in the mail order centres have to cope with the rush of customers and don’t get a cent more for the additionally intensified workload,” said Verdi representative Orhan Akman in a statement to Reuters.

Germany is Amazon’s second biggest market after the US and the trade union has been battling against Amazon since 2013.

However, an Amazon spokesperson responded to the calls saying that the company offers excellent pay and benefits.

The company has claimed that, during previous calls for strikes, 90 per cent of workers in its logistics arm worked as normal.

This comes as earlier this month, the ecommerce platform promised to give workers an entry-level wage at its German warehouses, which would will mean employees’ pay will rise from €12 to €12.50 from next year.

READ MORE: Amazon Prime Day spend expected to reach $11bn

Amazon’s widely anticipated members-only sales event is an important date in the ecommerce’s company’s calendar, with sales figures expected to exceed those of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Last year, Amazon sold $10.4 billion worth of goods, and Prime members collectively saved over $1.4 billion on Prime Day.

While the event is popular amongst consumers, Amazon has come under plenty of criticism in recent months over alleged workers’ rights abuses.

A poll carried out in May found that of 700 UK Amazon delivery drivers conducted by campaign group Organise, 82 per cent said they are forced to break the speed limit in order to meet targets and avoid being reprimanded.

A further 92 per cent said they never take a break while working, while 86 per cent said they did not have time to wash their hands between deliveries.

Over nine in 10 drivers also said they had been forced to urinate into a bottle during shifts as they have no access to a toilet and can’t afford to stop.

Amazon is now investigating gender-bias in its Prime team according to an investigation carried out by Business Insider.

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