Joint ETF/UNI Europa statement on violence towards strikers at Amazon

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Whilst Amazon workers are on strike for decent conditions, police respond with violence.

Online retailer Amazon has long faced accusations that its warehouses are bad places to work. Now workers are striking to demand change. The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and UNI Europa express their solidarity with the Amazon workers on strike in Spain and Germany.

San Fernando de Henares, in the suburbs of Madrid, hosts Amazon’s biggest logistics centre in Spain. Workers have gone on strike for three consecutive days.  More than 1200 workers walked out demanding a pay rise and better working conditions. Sadly the police responded to these peaceful protests with violence, and one activist was left with a broken jaw.

The workers’ trade union has been trying to reach a negotiated solution for weeks, but without success.  Representatives of Spanish Amazon workers state that they are always ready for a fair and balanced agreement, which was very close – but the company has let opportunities pass.  Instead the company imposed unilateral pay cuts last April, which it refused to reverse.

In Germany, Amazon’s largest market outside the US, six sites have been hit with strikes. The strike at the Leipzig depot will continue for two days.  In total more than 2400 workers are participating in strike action to ask for better terms and conditions. According to German trade union ver.di, Amazon is a company that gets rich on the back of its employees’ health. 

With the strike call followed by 95% of the entire workforce, workers in Germany and Spain demand fair working conditions, respect and dignity from Amazon.

Read our press release here.

The European Transport Workers’ Federation represents more than 5 million transport workers from more than 230 transport unions and 41 European countries, in the following sectors: railways, road transport and logistics, maritime transport, inland waterways, civil aviation, ports & docks, tourism and fisheries.

UNI Europa is the European trade union federation for 7 million services workers, and the European branch of UNI Global Union. It represents 272 national trade unions in 50 countries in the following sectors: Commerce; Finance; Gaming; Graphical and Packaging; Hair and Beauty; Information and Communication Technology Services; Media, Entertainment and Arts; Postal Services and Logistics; Private Care and Social Insurance; Industrial Cleaning and Private Security; Professional Sport; Professionals/Managers; and Temporary Agency Workers.

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