Amazon workers on strike in Italy and Germany

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Hundreds of Amazon workers in Italy and Germany are on strike during one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Over 500 employees are carrying out their first ever strike at Amazon’s warehouse in Piacenza near Milan over pay.

Strikers have also refused to work overtime until 31 December, covering the whole of the online retailer’s peak season.

Piazcenza is Amazon’s main Italian hub, employing 4,000 people.

E-commerce is growing fast in Italy, but online sales account for only 10% of overall retail sales, according to consultancy EY, half the European average.

The Verdi trade union said people are also striking at six warehouses in Germany over pay and working conditions.

In a statement, Verdi board member Stefanie Nutzberger, said workers faced “high pressure to create more and more in less time, permanent performance controls and monitoring, [and] a poor leadership culture”.

Luigi Giove, Secretary General of Italy’s CGIL union, said those on strike are calling for shifts which are “not exhausting” and for Amazon to redistribute its profits.

Amazon said in a statement earlier this week that it was “focused on maintaining delivery times for Black Friday and the following days.

The statement added that Amazon wages are “among the highest in the logistics sector” and included benefits such as private health insurance and discounts on Amazon’s website.

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