German Amazon Workers Demand a Collective Contract

December 21, 2018

Every Christmas the German workers of Amazon attempt to strike and disrupt the company’s profits during the busiest time of the year. The management uses bonuses to tempt workers to break the strike

Every Christmas the German workers of Amazon attempt to strike and disrupt the company’s profits during the busiest time of the year. The management uses bonuses to tempt workers to break the strike


German Amazon Workers Demand a Collective Contract

Story Transcript

NARRATOR: Over 13,000 Amazon workers in Germany are threatening to walkout to strike as the Christmas holiday approaches. The German union federation Verdi demands that Amazon agree to sign a union contract that offers, among other things, a transparent pay scale for all Amazon workers in Germany.

GERMAN AMAZON WORKER: Amazon says we decide it alone. We determine the wages, we determine with the working conditions. We don’t want unions. We know these arguments from the U.S. but for us it is different. For us the workers can decide for themselves.

NARRATOR: The Amazon management in Germany responded that they consider the risk of strike equivalent to other risk factors such as bad weather, and expect Christmas presents to arrive on time despite the strike. Then Amazon pushed forward with an offer to pay a special bonus to those workers who would be willing to cross the picket line to violate the strike and to continue working, allowing Amazon to maximize its profits during this very busy time of the year. The Amazon workers in Germany have tried striking around Christmas for many years because they are underpaid by the trillion-dollar megacorporation Amazon.