Workers at Amazon’s Leipzig, Rheinberg, Werne, Bad Hersfeld, Graben and Koblenz warehouses have walked out in a “Bah Humbug” strike and don’t plan on resuming work until it’s too late for Christmas.
The strikes are part of a long running dispute between German Trade Union Verdi and Amazon which started way back in 2013. Verdi want Amazon to comply with a “collective bargaining” agreement. Amazon say that their workers are logistics employees and not retail workers but Verdi disagree and so the strikes keep coming.
Striking at Christmas reminds me of the biannual strikes we used to see with Royal Mail until they managed to come to agreements with the CWU which most UK postal workers belong to.
It is 2015, and whilst not many would disagree that historically trade unions have done amazing work to get employees a fair deal, in 2015 strikes are so last century and tiresome for the average consumer who just wants their Christmas goodies delivered.
The CWU strikes at Christmas eventually lost widespread public support which melted away in frustration at disrupted pre-Christmas post. How long will it be before Verdi also lose support if they schedule industrial action designed to interfere with our German friend’s Christmases?
The good news for Germans looking forward to celebrating Christmas with gifts purchased on Amazon is that Amazon have a network of 29 warehouses across Europe and plan on fulfilling every single order which would normally be scheduled for pre-Christmas delivery.