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First Company-Wide Strike Called By Amazon Workers In Italy

First Company-Wide Strike Called By Amazon Workers In Italy
The first ever strike by workers of the largest online retailer of the world is being called out by the company’s employees in Italy.  
Workers of the United States based online giant in Italy were holding talks with the management of the company over working conditions which broke down. This prompted the trade unions to call for a 24-hour strike on March 22, the unions said on Thursday.  
There are about 8,500 employees in Italy of the largest online retailer of the world and this strike will mark the first by the company’s all workers in Italy as a whole.
Negotiations over contracts for Amazon staff in Italy "came to an abrupt halt because of the company's unwillingness to positively address the issues raised", said national unions Filt Cgil, Fit Cisl and Uiltrasporti e Assoespressi.
The demands of the trade unions of the company include a revision of several aspects of contracts of the employees including demands for reviewing workloads, shifts, contract conditions, lunch vouchers, results-linked bonuses and payments for travel. The unions had also demanded the company to reduce the working hours for the drivers of the company.
"Amazon shows, with an unacceptable behaviour, that it is chronically unavailable to confront workers' representatives, in defiance of national contract rules and going against a system of fairness," the unions' statement said.
While stating that the claims that had been made by unions were “false”, Amazon said that the company had already held negotiations with the trade unions twice in January, said a company spokeswoman in an emailed statement.
The company is of the opinion that it should talk directly to the logistics staff as well as with the unions representing them because of the fact that as number of delivery service providers were included in the company’s logistics staff.
The strike is expected to impact all the workers of Amazon in the company’s supply chain, hub and delivery operations in Italy.
Since starting operations in Italy about 10 years ago, more than 5.8 billion euros ($6.94 billion) has been invested in the country by the US based company. The company had announced in January about its decision to open two logistics centres in Italy with an investment of an additional further 230 million euros.
Demanding better safety measures for workers amid the coronavirus health emergency, about one third of employees working at an Amazon delivery station in central Italy had organized a strike last year.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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