German Amazon workers are striking on Prime Day after it scrapped their COVID-19 bonus payments



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Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

  • German Amazon workers are striking during the company’s Prime Day, a two-day discount event.
  • Workers at seven Amazon warehouses in cities including Leipzig and Koblenz are striking in shifts to avoid large crowds.
  • Amazon staff have been working “without adequate protection” during the pandemic, and the company has scrapped its coronavirus bonus, German trade union Verdi said.
  • An Amazon spokesman told Business Insider that the strikes will have no impact on its deliveries in Germany.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

German staff at Amazon are striking during the e-commerce giant’s annual Prime Day event on Tuesday and Wednesday over pay and conditions in its warehouses since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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Workers at seven Amazon warehouses in cities including Leipzig and Koblenz are striking in shifts to avoid large crowds.

The country’s second-largest union, Verdi, said it was organizing the strike because staff have been working “without adequate protection,” and haven’t been compensated for the additional stress of working during the pandemic.

An Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider that the strikes will not impact its deliveries in Germany, the company’s second-biggest market after the US.

The company already offers “excellent pay, benefits, and opportunities for career growth,” they added, with a safe working environment that is “set up to help them succeed.”

The company told Reuters that most employees in Germany were working as normal.

Orhan Akman, Verdi’s retail representative, pointed out that at the end of May, the company scrapped a coronavirus bonus of 2 euros ($2.36) an hour, just two months after it was introduced. 

Amazon can “certainly” afford to pay staff the bonus, Akman claimed, because it doesn’t face the same problems that are causing bricks and mortar retailers to fold during the