Amazon Workers Strike in Germany After Virus Infection Reports

About 2,000 Inc. workers in Germany are staging strikes after coronavirus infections connected to local warehouses raised concerns about employee safety procedure.

The walkouts, which will last through at least Tuesday, affect six Amazon sites across the country, Jan Jurczyk, a spokesman for the Verdi labor union, said Monday by phone.

Verdi is calling on the U.S. company to improve health conditions, including by allowing more frequent breaks, after an estimated “30 to 40 people” working at facilities in Bad Hersfeld contracted Covid-19, Jurczyk said.

Amazon’s warehouses are “safe” and the company has protective equipment available to the people who work there, Thorsten Schwindhammer, a spokesman for the company, said.

In Germany, Amazon has bought 21 million pairs of gloves and 19 million face masks, he added, but declined to comment on the number of staff infected with coronavirus in its warehouses.

Amazon said deliveries aren’t affected by the walkouts because the majority of its staff in Germany will continue working.

There were 235 new cases of coronavirus in the 24 hours through Monday morning across Germany’s entire population, down from 422 the previous day and bringing the total to 194,693, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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