first strike

first strike

Germany: Amazon workers in Leipzig "treated like numbers"

4h ago
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1. C/U Devil toy of Ver.di trade union sits outside of Amazon logistics centre, Leipzig with the Amazon company sign in background 2. M/S Devil toy with 'Ver.di' writing on it sits outside of Amazon logistics centre, with striking workers in background 3. M/S Two striking employees of Amazon put up a Ver.di 'Strike' sign on a fence outside of Amazon logistics centre 4. M/S People enter through the Amazon security checkpoint with striking workers in foreground UPSOUND: whistles 5. M/S Amazon employee striker putting on rain vest 6. M/S Amazon employees on strike stand outside Amazon logistics centre holding umbrellas UPSOUND: whistles 7. SOT, Thomas Schnieder, Union Representative (in German): We won't be intimidated and won't let them threaten us, this time is over. You are strong, you accomplish your aims and you stay strong as a wall." 8. C/U Security officer enters the Amazon security checkpoint 9. SOT: Tommy Nietze, employee of Amazon and union member, says: "At Amazon Leipzig you feel treated like a number and not as a real employee." 10. C/U Banner that says (in German): 'Strike' 11. W/S Striking employees of Amazon stand outside Amazon logistics centre, Leipzig 12. W/S Striking employees of Amazon congregate holding umbrellas, wearing vest marking their strike action 13. W/S Amazon employees on strike stand outside Amazon logistics centre holding umbrellas SCRIPT Germany: Amazon workers in Leipzig "treated like numbers" 200 Leipzig workers from the the multinational company Amazon ventured on a strike on Monday for the second time in the month of May in a dispute over pay and conditions. The trade union Ver.di, which represents Amazon workers among millions of other German employees, helped organise the protest in the rainy east German city. Workers donned rain gear and blew whistles while listening to speeches by members. Ver.di chose Monday for strike action as Amazon had planned an 'open door day' for local politicians to view the working conditions of the logistic centre in Leipzig, having to reschedule the event for later in the day. The German public services trade union Ver.di, which boasts nearly 8 million members in the country, claim Amazon staff are not granted holiday pay or Christmas bonuses, with nightshift pay beginning from midnight only. The workers on strike are calling for a starting pay of 10.66 Euros per hour as opposed to the 9.30 Euros they receive at present. The current wage arrangements and conditions are based on the logistics industry, rather than following the conventions of the retail and mail order industries. With Amazon warehouses first opening for business in Germany in 1998, the first strike took place May 14, 2013. 850 employees gathered after 97 per cent of Amazon's 9000 German workers voted for collective action. Ver.di started seeking a collective wage agreement from the online retailer's 11 locations in Germany. Tommy Nietze, employee of Amazon and union member, says: "At Amazon Leipzig you feel treated like a number and not as a real employee." Amazon, the world's biggest internet retail company, employs nearly 9000 people in Germany. German television channel ARD broadcasted a report in February on alleged exploitation of foreign temporary contract workers at an Amazon distribution centre in the town of Bad Hersfeld, central Germany. It implied Romanian and Hungarian workers were not given legal work contracts from the company, instead initially working for an employment agency to safeguard dismissals, and the employees were housed in over-populated accommodation with constant searches made by company guards. Amazon announced in April it has 16.07 billion dollars in net income.