WASHIGNTON — Amazon’s German workers are going to strike after all. The Associated Press reports that they have a limited, one-day warning strike to demand higher wages.
The union at the center of the strike, Verdi, said that Leipzig-based employees will walk off the job in a one-day strike and push for extra pay on working nights, Sundays, holidays in addition to Christmas bonuses. It could amount to another $11,700 per year for each Amazon worker.
Amazon says that these German workers already earn more than what their industry would pay, since their workers are working in logistics centers. Verdi represents 2,000 workers in Leipzig and 3,300 in another Amazon facility.
Online giants like Amazon and Google are facing increased scrutiny by European governments over their tax practices, which are legal but circumvent high corporate taxes in major European countries. France even proposed a “Google Tax” to gain more tax revenue from major corporations. Even American politicians were upset at Apple’s tax shelter in Ireland, which is also legal.
The eurozone economy is almost in shambles with 12% unemployment, with bailouts and rescue packages needed in places like Spain, Greece and Cyprus. Cyprus had to be bailed out by Russia, an EU nemesis. France’s economy is not doing so well either, with soaring unemployment of 10.6%.
Europeans are sick of these budget cuts and reforms, known to them as “austerity measures”, and politicians are looking elsewhere for more tax revenue. But, they cannot rely on Germany to bail them out time after time after time.