German workers extend strikes at Amazon warehouses




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BERLIN – Workers at German warehouses of retailer Amazon.com extended strikes on Monday as labor union Verdi pressed its demands in a long-running dispute pay and conditions.

Verdi said in a statement had called out workers to at distribution centers in Bad Hersfeld and Graben after more than 600 staff walked off job in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig on Friday and .

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

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

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

Verdi said retail and mail order workers had a pay rise of 5.1 percent in stages last year, while Amazon employees received an average raise of 2 percent. (Reuters)