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Unions In Germany And UK Call For Strikes At Amazon And Deliveroo Respectively Over Workers’ Rights

Unions In Germany And UK Call For Strikes At Amazon And Deliveroo Respectively Over Workers’ Rights
Workers in six Amazon sites in Germany were called to go on a strike by the country’s trade union Verdi for four days in the attempt of the unions and workers to force the largest e-commerce company of the world to accept and recognise collective bargaining agreements.
An "unofficial start" to wage negotiations for workers in the retail and mail order industry of the country – slated to start within the next few weeks, is signalled by the strikes organized at Amazon's sites in Rheinberg, Werne, Koblenz, Leipzig and at two locations in Bad Hersfeld, Verdi said.
"Amazon is making a mint in the coronavirus crisis. For this reason alone, wage evasion must be stopped there," said Verdi representative Orhan Akman.
An increase of 4.5 per cent in pay for employees in the retail and mail order industry in Germany is being demanded by Verdi. "This must also be possible at Amazon this year," Akman said.
The issue of better pay and better working conditions for logistics workers – who have often organized strikes, has been a long running contentious issue between Amazon and unions in Germany.
Germany is Amazon's biggest market after the United States.
On previous occasions, amazon has said that the pay and benefits offered by it are excellent. With respect to previous calls for strike, Amazon has said that more than 90 per cent of the workers in its logistic centres worked as normal during strikes.
On the other hand, a call for workers of the United Kingdom based food delivery company Deliveroo to go on a strike when the company floats its stocks in the stock market next month has been given by a trade union. The trade union said that a strike would highlight the dissatisfaction of the workers with the company's business model and its view on the rights of workers.
Deliveroo is one of the most popular food delivery companies in Britain and its stock market debut in the UK is slated to be the biggest for the country in more than a decade. The company set a share price that valued the company at $12 billion.
While stating that the view point of the trade union that called for the strike the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB), was not what the vast majority of its riders thought about the company, Deliveroo added that there has been continued interest in its listing shown by investors since the company began its roadshow on Monday.
In 2018, a legal challenge against Deliveroo had been lost by the IWGB. The case was filed to ensure the company paid workers’ rights such as the minimum wage for riders in the UK. However the court had ruled that the riders were self-employed.
"Investing in Deliveroo means associating yourself with the exploitative and unstable business model," IWGB President Alex Marshall said in a statement, adding the strike was planned for April 7, to coincide with the IPO.
"Thousands apply to work with us every week, reflecting the strong demand for our on-demand model," a company spokeswoman said.
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Christopher J. Mitchell

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