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Amazon’s Labor Troubles in Europe Continue

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Supply Chain Matters provides another update to our previous ongoing commentaries highlighting Amazon’s ongoing labor problems at major distribution centers in Germany.  The Wall Street Journal reported that on Monday and Tuesday of this week about 1300 workers walked off the job at respective distribution centers in Germany, the fourth work stoppage occurrence this month.  According to the byline, the global online retailer continues to take reputation hits by German media as a responsible employer.

Amazon continues to refuse to negotiate with a German labor union, maintaining its management position that DC workers are classified as logistical employees. German labor union Ver.di contests that Amazon workers should be classified at the same level as existing retail and catalog workers, a differential of nearly $3 per hour higher.

The WSJ calls attention to U.S. based firms who insist on American labor practices in foreign countries such as Europe, where management and work councils influence hiring, firing and compensation issues. An insightful quote in the article comes from the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany: “If you do it the German way in Germany, you’ll succeed.  If you do it the American way, you’ll fail.

Amazon continues to communicate that employees are well compensated and these intermittent labor strikes have had no impact on sales and shipments.

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