That’s what they call American companies like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in Germany, Wild West, on account of their lack of concern for their workers. In her article on Wall Street Journal Sara Sloat talks about the recent strike of German Union Verdi against Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) at five of the nine warehouse facilities in Germany.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s treatment of its workers in Germany has resulted in an interesting dynamic between the employees. While some are part of the union and on a strike, others have started a Facebook group called Pro Amazon in support of the company, according to Sloat.
It’s not only that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s warehouse facilities are in areas which were previously suffering from unemployment, which makes workers support Amazon, but also the consideration that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has shown towards its employees. It pays them a wage of €9.55 whereas Germany’s minimum wage is €8.50.
Sloat cited that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) also sends pregnant workers home on a paid leave before other German employers would normally do. Amazon says that it is because of the strenuous aspect of warehouse work and its policy is in junction with Germany’s maternity protection act.
Furthermore the workers sometimes also enjoy Christmas bonuses which Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is not obliged to pay but it did so in 2013, according to the article.
On the other side Verdi is fighting for higher wages and greater job security as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s employees usually have short term contracts owing to the seasonal nature of the business.
Verdi as a union has lost poppularity over the years and Sloat mentioned that although its membership grew 0.16% last year, but over the last 13 years it has declined by about 25%. The strikes still havent been able to gain the traction of a considerable number of employees. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported that 1,300 of its employees out of a total of 9,000 that it employs in Germany were on the strike and business operations were not affected by it.
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