Santa should pay attention to Amazon employees who say they won?t work. The distribution center staff in Germany could delay Santa?s deliveries if the on-line provider of gifts hands out chunks of coal instead of a wage increase to its employees.
Will the actions of some German workers cause Christmas chaos?
Union employees are saying Bah Humbug to Amazon. The workers want an agreement regarding wages similar to those guaranteed to retail and mail order workers. Amazon?s retort is that their employees are already highly paid for the industry and, besides, the majority of its employees aren?t participating in the union?s disruption tactics anyway. Ver.di, Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, the trade union behind the disgruntled employees, was only able to pull a small percentage of Amazon?s employees out onto the picket lines this week.
Germany is Amazon?s second largest market, the US being the largest. Amazon is hoping for a big chunk of Germany?s expected 8.5 million euros in eCommerce Christmas sales and it needs workers to push those purchases out the door. An Amazon spokesperson quipped that snowfall will affect deliveries more than a strike called by the union.
Amazon did make a concession and pay a Christmas bonus equivalent to around $600 USD. The union claims the bonus would be double that if the employees were under a union contract. The two distribution centers under siege are Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig. The on-line retailer is planning to open three new centers in Poland causing some German workers to fear jobs will gravitate across the border. Ver.di is threatening to spread the discontent to eight other centers across the country. Amazon has already been plagued by intermittent strikes by Ver.di this year.