A Strike In Germany Could Cripple Amazon This Week

The logo of Amazon is pictured on a warehouse in Bad Hersfeld May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner Thomson ReutersThe logo of Amazon is pictured on a warehouse in Bad Hersfeld

FRANKFURT – Labour union Verdi has called on workers at online retailer Amazon to go on strike at five locations across Germany, as a row over pay and conditions continues.

Verdi said in a statement it had called workers to strike at distribution centres in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Graben, Werne and Rheinberg.

Workers at Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig and Graben will go on strike from Monday to Wednesday, while workers at Werne will strike Monday and Tuesday.

Amazon employs a total of 9,000 warehouse staff at nine distribution centres in Germany, its second-biggest market behind the United States, plus 14,000 seasonal workers.

Verdi wants Amazon to raise pay for workers at its distribution centres in accordance with collective bargaining agreements across the mail order and retail industry in Germany and has organised several stoppages over the past year.

Amazon, however, has rejected the demand, arguing that it regards warehouse staff as logistics workers and says they receive above-average pay by the standards of that industry.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.

This article originally appeared at Reuters. Copyright 2014. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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