Trading "Black Friday" for "Strike Friday," workers in Amazon distribution centers across Germany and Italy are on strike.
"We want a bonus because the company is having great results, and the profits need to be distributed,” the secretary of Italy's largest trade union, CGIL, told the Financial Times. Gianluca Zilocchi spoke to the Financial Times from outside an Amazon distribution center in northern Italy, where workers are on a one-day strike. The center employs 4,000 workers during the weeks before Christmas, according to the paper.
Camusso, “Siamo con i lavoratori di #AmazonItalia senza se e senza ma. La lotta per un lavoro dignitoso e rispettoso dei diritti è giusta”.#StrikeFriday
➡️ https://t.co/4sxyOpPNZR pic.twitter.com/b3ozUbVuzo
— CGIL Nazionale (@cgilnazionale) November 24, 2017
The Associated Press reports that workers are also striking for better wages at six Amazon distribution centers in Germany. A spokesperson for the German union Ver.di told the AP 2,500 workers were on strike across the six centers.
In Germany, the Verdi union wants Amazon to adopt a new framework for “Gute und gesunde Arbeit” (‘good and healthy work’), potentially with some pressure from regulatory bodies behind it.
“Amazon permanently endangers the health of its employees with its way of working. High pressure to create more and more in less time, permanent performance controls and monitoring, a poor leadership culture and inadequate recovery times are health hazards in the Amazon labor process,” Stefanie Nutzberger, Verdi a board member, said in a statement (originally in German). “A special collective agreement can guarantee healthy and good working conditions. We should create the necessary regulations so that employees are no longer exposed to the arbitrariness of an employer who also conducts its business at the expense of their health.”
The complaints in Italy echoed this idea, too,
“Work is not a commodity,” said Annamaria Furlan, the secretary general of CISL in Italy (originally in Italian). “The dignity of workers must not be trampled on. Amazon needs to open a dialogue with unions over industrial relations, employment stability and better salaries.”