Hubertus Heil on the home office debate: “A very clear message”

Hubertus Heil

The Federal Minister of Labor says: “I am serious about proposals.”

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) has urgently appealed to employers to allow home offices wherever possible. “This is not just any appeal, but a very clear message from the federal and state governments to the economy,” said the SPD politician in an interview with the Handelsblatt.

Many companies acted responsibly. But there are also those who arbitrarily refused to work on the move. “That is irresponsible,” said Heil.

The request to work from home if possible is also directed at the employees – even if he understands that many would like to see their colleagues again. But it is a question of responsibility, and the employees are also deceived.

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Strikes at Amazon until Christmas (neue-deutschland.de)

Labor dispute: Strikes at Amazon until Christmas

Photo: dpa / Peter Steffen

Berlin. Employees of the online mail order company Amazon in Germany stopped working at six locations when the night shift began on Monday. The strikes in Werne, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Koblenz and at two locations in Bad Hersfeld are to continue up to and including Christmas Eve, as the Verdi union announced. She reckons with around 1700 participants in the strike.

The union demands that Amazon sign the collective agreement for German retailers. It is a demand that Verdi has been trying to enforce for years. Verdi Federal Board member Stefanie Benefitberger has now said that the extensive closure of shops since last week due to the lockdown in the corona pandemic has led to another significant increase in orders from mail order companies such as Amazon. Amazon deserves “a golden nose” in the current crisis.

While the US company continues to increase its billions in profits, “it refuses to pay its employees a collective agreement,” criticized the union. Instead, the employees would be “exposed to even greater pressure because Amazon makes delivery promises despite the additional hustle and bustle”. This is “inevitably at the expense of the health of the workforce, especially now under the conditions of the pandemic.”

Calm, pragmatic, radical
Obituary for the activist Christian Krähling, who was the face of the resistance at Amazon

Amazon explained that the strike actions would not have an impact on deliveries to customers: “The vast majority of employees work normally.” Amazon offers an environment “in which one can enjoy working, contribute and be successful,” emphasized the US -Group. In the current lockdown, Amazon is supporting tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses in Germany by enabling them to sell their products online. Agencies / nd

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Excitement about “Corona bonus”: Victims of higher tariff policy logic

The outrage over a special payment to employees of members of the Bundestag is great. But is it also justified?

Should employees of Bundestag members receive special payments? Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

If nothing else works, at least the reflexes do. The “Corona bonus” for the employees of the members of the Bundestag, which the Council of Elders decided on, causes great indignation. The waves of outrage are rolling over on social media. There is angry thunderstorm until the rind cracks. “Incredibly outrageous!”, “Unbelievable this self-service shop!” Or “I’m stunned” are the more moderate reactions.

Relevant right-wing populist Heiopeis are heating up the mood: “The normal employee – but especially the people who were and are at the forefront of the Corona crisis – must feel totally ripped off”, tweets for example the Berlin AfD parliamentary group leader Georg Pazderski.

Even some who should really know better join the chorus of the angry. So writes Jules El-Khatib, research assistant for the left parliamentary group in the Bundestag, on twitter: “I am an employee of members of the Bundestag, all employees receive a corona bonus for their work, while nurses only receive applause. I cannot agree to that and will therefore donate the money to organizations that take care of the poorest. “

There is certainly nothing wrong with it if El-Khatib, who is also deputy state chairman of the North Rhine-Westphalian Left Party, wants to donate money for a good cause. However: In fact, he receives the same special payment as all nurses – if they are employed in the public service.

Ignorance of tariff policy

Obviously, he is not the only employee in the Bundestag who has no idea how the “Corona bonus” came about. So quotes the Augsburg General a colleague from El-Khatib, who was not named, with the statement that several members of parliament were “surprised, but rather a bit strange than pleased” about the payment.

This surprise is not understandable. Because they could have known as early as the end of October that there would be an alleged “Corona special payment” of – depending on the salary group – 300 to 600 euros for employees in the Bundestag.

Why could they have known that back then? Because at the end of October there was a collective agreement for employees in the public service of the federal government and municipalities. And part of the agreement between the Verdi union and the German Association of Civil Servants with the employers’ side was the “Corona bonus”. Incidentally, all around 2.3 million public sector employees receive this – including those who work in hospitals or in nursing!

Now employees of MPs are not employees of the public service, but only have fixed-term employment contracts under private law. But that the results of the collective bargaining are transferred to them is the long-standing practice. The same applies to the officials: inside.

The alleged “scandal” is even bigger. Because the employees in the Bundestag will not only receive a “Corona bonus”, but also a 1.4 percent salary increase from April 1, 2021, and another 1.8 percent on April 1, 2022. Will the left-wing party Jules El-Khatib also donate this additional money to organizations “that take care of the poorest”? They would definitely be happy about it.

The “corona bonus”, which actually isn’t

The really weird thing about the current excitement is that it is actually not a real “Corona bonus” that the Bundestag employees get. Because in fact, when they signed the deal in October, the parties to the collective bargaining agreement used a little trick to package a one-off payment that was already common anyway. That sounds complicated, but on closer inspection it isn’t.

So: The collective agreement between Verdi and the Association of Officials with federal and local employers applies retrospectively to September 1, 2020, the first percentage salary increase will be on April 1, 2021. For such a period in between, there is usually a one-off compensation payment.

The federal government has now made it possible for all companies to pay their employees a corona bonus of up to EUR 1,500 tax-free and social security-free by the end of this year. The collective bargaining parties in the public service have made use of this regulation. That is why they now call the agreed one-off payment “Corona bonus”.

The deal: the employers pay a lower amount than would actually be acceptable for the unions – but they went through this because the employees receive the money tax-free, i.e. without any deductions. And everyone can pretend that they are paying special attention to the corona exposure of employees. Well, the employees of members of the Bundestag have to pay for this higher wage policy logic. Gone stupid.

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Strikes at Amazon around the bargain day »Black Friday« (neue-deutschland.de)

Amazon is on strike again.

Amazon is on strike again.

Photo: dpa / Ronny Hartmann

Berlin. With strikes that lasted several days at the online retailer Amazon, the Verdi union wants to put pressure on again in the years of struggle for a collective agreement. The union has called for work stoppages at seven German shipping centers around the high-turnover Black Friday shopping day.

With the start of the night shift from Wednesday to Thursday, employees in Leipzig (Saxony), Bad Hersfeld (Hesse / two locations), Rheinberg, Werne (both North Rhine-Westphalia), Graben near Augsburg (Bavaria) and Koblenz (Rhineland-Palatinate) are on a three-day strike has been called, said Verdi. The aim is the recognition of the collective agreements of the retail and mail order business by Amazon and the conclusion of a collective agreement for good and healthy work.

Since May 2013, Amazon has been on strike again and again in Germany – without any tangible results in the deadlocked conflict. Verdi regularly calls for work stoppages – for example during Christmas business or on bargain days like “Black Friday” and “Cyber ​​Monday”. The union demands collective bargaining. Amazon rejects this with the argument that the company offers payment at the upper end of the industry standard in logistics, and that there are career opportunities and many extras.

Verdi representative Orhan Akman has been criticizing the demand for collectively agreed and living wages for years: “At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic,“ Black Friday ”,“ Cyber ​​Monday ”and Christmas business make the company huge additional billions in profits. “

According to its own information, Amazon operates 15 logistics centers at 14 locations with around 16,000 permanent employees. The online retailer claims that Amazon is a fair employer. The logistics workers received “a very competitive wage package”.

The company of the US billionaire Jeff Bezos has multiplied its number of employees in recent years. There are disputes with the trade unions not only in Germany. The company rejects collective agreements in principle. According to various asset estimates, Bezos is considered the richest person in the world.

The regional department head for retail at Verdi in North Rhine-Westphalia, Silke Zimmer, criticized the company’s approach: “The employees who generated these sales and this unimaginable wealth from Jeff Bezos received for the additional workload in the Black Friday week still no tariff remuneration. “

At Amazon, it has always been said of similar strike campaigns in the past that customers would not feel anything. Parcels arrive on time, the majority of the employees take care of customer orders as usual. With a view to the planned new Verdi protests, an Amazon spokesman in Koblenz said that the teams are currently concentrating on “getting the packages to the customer.” The actions in the past would not have had any impact on customer deliveries. Agencies / nd

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Collective bargaining agreement for public services: redistribution and corona premium

The lower wage groups in particular benefit from the collective bargaining agreement. Nursing staff receive up to ten percent more.

Protesting nurses wrote their demands on toilet paper Photo: Imago

BERLIN taz | Negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement for the public sector at the federal and local levels lasted almost three and a half days. On Sunday noon, Horst Seehofer announced the agreement for the employers and Frank Werneke for the Verdi union. Wages and salaries will rise by 3.2 to 4.5 percent by the end of 2022. This time, the lower wage groups in particular will benefit from the result.

On April 1 of next year, fees will rise by 1.4 percent, but at least by 50 euros. A year later there is a further increase of 1.8 percent. Apprentices each receive 25 euros more and a takeover guarantee. This year, the 2.3 million workers and employees as well as a good 200,000 civil servants will also receive a corona bonus. There are 600 euros for professional groups with a gross wage of up to 3,470 euros, 400 euros up to an income of 5,800 euros and 300 euros for higher-class employees. Apprentices receive 225 euros from the municipalities and 200 euros from the federal government.

“It’s a respectable degree,” said Werneke afterwards. But he also admitted that he is not completely satisfied. Verdi and the German Association of Officials (dbb) started with a significantly higher demand. They wanted 4.8 percent more wages for a term of just one year.

In view of the dwindling income of the municipalities due to the corona crisis, employers, on the other hand, saw no scope for distribution, but recently offered 3.5 percent over a period of three years. In this respect, both sides met in the middle at the end. Ulrich Mädge, head of the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA), on the other hand, is satisfied with the result. “The deal is moderate and takes into account the financial characteristics of the corona crisis,” he stated.

Three allowances for the nursing staff

In addition to the normal wage round, the collective bargaining round was determined by a few special issues. The main focus was on improvements for nursing staff in homes and hospitals. It is now much better off with three allowances. A care allowance of 70 euros will be paid from next March. For nurses in intensive care medicine, the allowance is more than doubled to 100 euros. The care allowance in old people’s homes or other care facilities increases by 25 euros and thus on the level of the allowance in hospitals. The doctors in the health authorities are also upgraded. Your allowance is 300 euros.

Expressed as a percentage, this increase in nursing care is considerable. It means 8.7 percent more in normal care and 10 percent more in intensive care. A nurse with a gross wage of 3,540 euros in pay group 6 earns 300 euros more at the end of the term, a garbage collector with a monthly income of 2,823 euros receives a good 100 euros more.

Werneke can record a success with the long demanded harmonization of working hours in East and West. As of 2023, employees across the country will work 39 hours. At present, the employees of the municipalities in the east have to do their duty an hour longer. In 2022, working hours there will be reduced by half an hour as an intermediate step. There was also a separate negotiating table for the savings banks in the Potsdam conference hotel. Here the employers wanted to implement a special solution with significant savings in the special payment.

Expressed as a percentage, this increase for the nursing staff is considerable

The compromise now provides that part of the special payment is converted into additional days off. It looks poor for the employees at the airports. In view of the catastrophic economic development in air traffic, you will get nothing with the tariff increase. “Here we have agreed to support the plight of the airports and to avoid redundancies in return for operational reasons”, explains Mädge.

According to Mädge, the overall package costs employers almost 5 billion euros a year. This is the end of a long, open wage dispute. “Without warning strikes, the necessary movement in collective bargaining would not have taken place,” said the Verdi boss, defending work stoppages in important municipal companies such as daycare centers and waste disposal companies. For a long time, girls in particular had signaled little willingness to compromise with a rough tone.

Verdi was able to avert the demolitions demanded by employers. Employees would be paid less if they temporarily do low-paid work. That would have enabled the municipalities to make considerable savings, according to the negotiating circles.

In one point, however, Verdi did not make any progress. It is about the employees in local transport. Different collective agreements apply to drivers and conductors in the federal states. The union would like to introduce a uniform framework collective agreement. The VKA had always refused to negotiate. Now Verdi is pushing for further, separate negotiations for this division.

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Comment: The tariff compromise in the public service is fair to both sides

The differentiation that employers and unions have managed in countless hours of negotiation is impressive – and helps over the Corona period. .

Wage increase of up to 4.5 percent

Berlin In the collective bargaining round for the approximately 2.3 million public sector employees of the federal and local governments, the parties to the collective bargaining agreement have reached a conclusion. As a result, income increases in the table by 4.5 percent in the lowest pay group and level and by 3.2 percent in the highest group, as announced by the Verdi union.

In nursing, the increase is 8.7 percent and the peak for intensive care workers is around ten percent. All employees will also receive a corona bonus this year. The collective agreement runs until December 31, 2022. According to the municipal employers, the costs amount to 4.9 billion euros.

According to Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), the federal government, which wants to transfer the wage result to around 225,000 civil servants, will face financial burdens of around 1.2 billion euros.

The trade unions Verdi and DBB Beamtenbund and Tarifunion as well as the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA) and Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) agreed on this conclusion in the third round of negotiations on Sunday morning, most recently in a 14-hour negotiation marathon.

“Under the current conditions, this is a respectable degree that is tailor-made for the various professional groups that were the focus of the collective bargaining round,” said Verdi boss Frank Werneke. The unions had demanded an increase in wages of 4.8 percent, but at least 150 euros, over a period of one year.

Once this has been completed, salaries will be increased by 1.4 percent on April 1, 2021, but at least by 50 euros, and by a further 1.8 percent on April 1, 2022. Apprentices receive 25 euros more each. For the first seven months of the term, which will apply retrospectively from September 1st, both sides have agreed on empty months.

Above all, lower pay groups benefit from the minimum amount, which, according to Verdi, has tariff increases of up to 4.5 percent. For special burdens in the corona crisis, the collective bargaining parties have also agreed a staggered, one-time premium for this year. It is 600 euros in the lower salary groups, 400 euros in the middle and the top three groups still 300 euros.

In addition, both sides agreed to reduce the working hours of collective bargaining employees in the east in two steps to the west level of 39 hours per week by 2023.

With the compromise, further strikes, with which the unions had reinforced their demands, are off the table. However, the parallel tariff round in local public transport (ÖPNV) continues.

Verdi is calling for talks on a nationwide framework collective agreement in which, for example, the number of vacation days is uniformly regulated. However, the VKA did not receive a mandate for such negotiations from its general assembly. Nevertheless, Verdi had announced a week ago that warning strikes would initially be suspended until the end of October.

With the collective bargaining agreement in the public service of the federal government and municipalities, however, the problems of public transport have not yet been solved, said the deputy Verdi chairwoman Christine Behle on Sunday. Normally, the collective bargaining result of the public service is automatically included in the collective bargaining agreements for local transport in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony.

Because of the termination of the collective bargaining agreements, this is not the case this time: “The employers were not ready to transfer the agreement to local transport as well.” This should now be negotiated in the federal states, the employers said. But time is of the essence, especially for the corona bonus, because it will have to be paid out this year, emphasized Behle.

“We expect the municipal employers’ associations to promise the employees in local transport the Corona bonus and the wage increases within the next two weeks at the latest, so that further conflicts can be avoided. Work stoppages are still possible in local transport. “

Achieved the feasible in Corona times

The federal chairman of the Beamtenbund, Ulrich Silberbach, spoke of a “Corona compromise” at the wage agreement reached on Sunday. With this deal we have achieved what is currently feasible, ”he said.

The employers have recognized the need for action in the hospital and care sector and have finally taken important first steps towards appreciative pay that is competitive on the labor market, especially by introducing the care allowance, increasing intensive and rotating shift allowances and the Saturday allowance.

For example, employees in hospitals and nursing and care facilities receive up to three allowances: From March 2021 there will be a new monthly care allowance of 70 euros for everyone, which will be increased to 120 euros a year later.

The monthly intensive allowance will increase from EUR 46.02 to EUR 100 from March next year. At the same time, the allowance for employees who constantly work changing shifts will be increased from 105 euros per month to 155 euros from March 2021.

The VKA announced that a nurse would receive an average of 2,700 euros more by the end of the collective bargaining agreement, and an intensive care nurse an average of 3,900 euros.

In return, the unions in other areas of the public service, such as public order offices, job centers or general administration, could not have enforced this time, regretted Beamtenbund boss Silberbach. However, it is a good thing that employers could not prevail with their demand for a three-year term, emphasized Silberbach. Negotiations could start again at the beginning of 2023 – “when the corona crisis is hopefully history,” said the DBB boss.

The VKA negotiator, Lüneburg’s Lord Mayor Ulrich Mädge, called the deal “moderate”. He takes into account the financial characteristics of the corona crisis. It was important to the employers that the employees in the hospitals and in the care sector benefited above average.

Equally important, however, are the special solutions achieved for the savings banks and airports. In view of the persistent phase of low interest rates, employers saw little scope for wage increases for the approximately 175,000 employees in the savings banks.

For the airports that are suffering from the corona-related slump in air traffic, both sides had negotiated a restructuring collective agreement. A collective bargaining agreement for emergency situations that lowers personnel costs and rules out redundancies for operational reasons is now to be concluded soon. Airport employees are excluded from the agreed pay increase.

Economy course for employees at airports and in the savings banks

From July 1, 2021, employees in the savings banks will receive 1.4 percent more money, but at least 50 euros. On July 1, 2022, wages will rise by a further 1.0 percent – and therefore less than in the rest of the public sector. An adjustment to the level of the generally agreed degree will only take place at the end of the term from December 1, 2022, announced the VKA.

The employers can compensate for part of the costs of the wage increase by lowering the savings bank special payment. But there should be additional vacation days for the employees.

The chief executive of the airport association ADV, Ralph Beisel, welcomed that employees at the airports should be exempt from the agreed pay increase. “In these difficult times, the airports urgently need relief in terms of personnel costs and more flexibility in the deployment of employees,” Beisel told Handelsblatt. “A quarter of the more than 180,000 jobs at the airport locations are in acute danger.”

Due to the corona crisis, flight connections had collapsed massively, and German airports were in an existence-threatening situation. For the years 2020 and 2021, a “dramatic” loss of three billion euros is expected, after a pre-tax profit of 780 million euros in the previous year. “For the continued existence of many airports, it is essential that the talks with the unions on the conclusion of an emergency collective agreement are brought to a conclusion quickly,” demanded Beisel.

The German District Association called the conclusion “just barely justifiable”. One must keep an eye on the tax shortfalls and at the same time higher public spending, warned association president Reinhard Sager: “We must not burden ourselves with an overly heavy financial mortgage for the coming years.”

More: Why hundreds of thousands of daycare places are missing in Germany.

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Public service: a “disrespectful” offer (neue-deutschland.de)

The first warning strikes in the public service have already taken place.

The first warning strikes in the public service have already taken place.

Photo: dpa / Sina Schuldt

In the collective bargaining round for the more than 2.3 million public sector employees in the federal and local governments, employers have submitted an offer for the first time. Accordingly, the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior are promising the Verdi and Deutscher Beamtenbund wage increases of 3.5 percent, as well as a one-off Corona bonus of 300 euros. As it became known on Friday, working hours in East Germany should also be reduced in two steps to 39 hours in 2023 and 2024. On average, employees currently work 38.5 hours a week in the west and 40 hours a week in the east.

The pay increase should extend over three years: in 2021 it will be one percent more, but at least 30 euros, in 2022 another one percent and then in 2023 1.5 percent. In addition, according to the employer, there is a newly created care allowance in hospitals, care and support facilities of 50 euros per month and an increased shift allowance. Based on this “more than fair” offer, a quick agreement is expected in the next round of negotiations, said VKA President Ulrich Mägde.

The unions see it differently. Verdi boss Frank Werneke called the offer “downright disrespectful”. A significantly higher minimum amount is required for small and medium-sized incomes. The term of 36 months is also “significantly too long”. According to Werneke, the proposals for the health care system in particular are “really brazen”: “After warm words from politicians in the spring, the employees in the hospitals receive gossip from their employers, while at the same time they are fighting for the lives of corona patients again. «

“We would have expected more from the offer,” said Ulrich Silberbach, Federal Chairman of the Association of Officials. Silberbach and Werneke recalled that in view of the pandemic, the unions had offered to postpone the collective bargaining round to 2021, which the employers had refused. The unions are demanding 4.8 percent, but at least 150 euros more per month with a term of twelve months. In addition, there is an increase in the training and internship remuneration of 100 euros. The equalization of working hours in East and West as well as the reduction of the 41-hour working week for federal civil servants are, however, not strike pay demands, but one of several points that are discussed in the context of the collective bargaining.

The third round of negotiations is scheduled for October 23 and 24 in Potsdam. After the first two rounds, the unions had called on their members to take part in protests and warning strikes. The collective agreement applies to a good 2.3 million employees; the results of the collective bargaining rounds are then usually transferred to the civil servants.

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Public service pay round: employers offer 3.5 percent

Berlin In the collective bargaining round for the more than 2.3 million employees at the federal level and in the municipalities, the employers submitted an offer. Accordingly, the wages are to be increased in three steps by a total of 3.5 percent, with a term of the collective agreement of three years. There should be extras for employees in the healthcare sector.

“With our offer to the trade unions, we show more than clearly that public service workers do valuable and indispensable work for society in the field of services of general interest,” said the negotiator and president of the Association of Municipal Employers’ Associations (VKA), Lüneburg’s Lord Mayor Ulrich Girl.

The unions rejected the offer as completely inadequate: “The wage increases offered are downright disrespectful,” said Verdi boss Frank Werneke. The running time is also clearly too long. “In particular, the proposals for the health sector are really bold,” said Werneke.

In addition, the employers wanted to change the classification bases so that downgrades of employees would be possible in the future. The reduction of the annual special payment for employees at the savings banks is also planned.

The service union, which also negotiates for the education union GEW, the IG Bau and the police union, and the DBB Beamtenbund and collective bargaining union had demanded an increase in salaries by 4.8 percent, but at least by 150 euros, with a term of twelve months.

According to the employers’ proposal, wages are to be increased by 1.0 percent from March 2021, but at least by 30 euros. After that, they should increase in annual steps by a further 1.0 percent and 1.5 percent.

To alleviate the burdens in the corona crisis, there should be a special payment of 300 euros for all employees. The offer contains additional extras for employees in the healthcare sector, who were particularly in focus.

For example, a monthly care allowance of 50 euros is to be introduced for employees in hospitals, nursing and care facilities. Those who regularly work in alternating shifts are to receive an allowance of 155 euros instead of 105 euros. In intensive care, employers are ready to more than double the allowance to 96 euros.

New care allowance on offer

For nurses in intensive care units, who include all three supplements, this results in a monthly wage increase of 150 euros according to the VKA. Together with the offered pay increase, this leads to a salary increase of up to 8.5 percent.

For the employees in the health authorities, who are responsible, among other things, for tracking the contact persons of people infected with corona, the employers will provide special payments of a maximum of 1200 euros in the next two years.

The trade unions had also called for working hours in East German municipalities, where an average of 40 hours a week is worked, to be reduced to one hour and thus to the western level. The employers are now offering to get 39 hours per week in the tariff zone East in two steps by 2024.

If the offer is accepted in this way, the municipal employers alone would incur additional costs of 4.8 billion euros over the entire term, said VKA President Mädge – “and that in the middle of the worst recession since the founding of the Federal Republic”. Now it is up to the trade unions “to be willing to compromise and to accept this comprehensive offer”.

The first two rounds of negotiations had not brought any rapprochement. The unions had therefore reinforced their demands with warning strikes. On the basis of the offer, negotiations will now take place in Potsdam on October 22nd and 23rd. The employers expected a quick agreement to be reached in the next round, said Mädge.

“We had expected more from today’s offer,” emphasized DBB boss Ulrich Silberbach: “More responsibility and respect on the part of employers for their employees and more fairness in dealing with them.” Let this offer develop an agreement perspective, “or whether it is a smoke candle that only aims at public debate”.

More: Don’t be afraid of conflicts: this is the local negotiator

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Verdi calls on Amazon employees to go on a two-day strike (neue-deutschland.de)

Already in 2014 there was a strike at Amazon in Bad Hersfeld

Already in 2014 there was a strike at Amazon in Bad Hersfeld

Photo: dpa / Uwe Zucchi

Berlin. At the booming mail order company Amazon, the Verdi union is again on warning strikes. The work stoppages in Leipzig, Bad Hersfeld, Rheinberg, Werne, Graben near Augsburg and Koblenz should start this Tuesday and last two days, as the union announced. With the strike on Prime Day, on which the online retailer lures with special offers, the employees wanted to make it clear that they were not available at a bargain price, it said.

In Rheinberg, the union expects that up to 500 employees will participate in the strike and thus around a quarter of the workforce there. In Werne, according to Verdi estimates, 250 employees went on warning strike. In Leipzig, too, employees stopped working when the early shift started on Tuesday. “The employees have been performing at their best since the beginning of the corona pandemic, often without adequate protection,” said Verdi strike leader Thomas Schneider, according to a statement. The work stoppage should last until the night shift on Wednesday.

Verdi calls for the corona allowance that has meanwhile been paid for the employees to be converted into a permanent collectively secured salary increase. Amazon could definitely afford higher wage increases, said the Verdi federal specialist group leader for retail and mail order, Orhan Akman. “Amazon is a long way from the economic problems that stationary retail chains are confronted with due to lockdown and other corona restrictions,” he emphasized.

The group had granted employees a 1.8 percent increase in salaries in September and was thus based on the wage increases agreed in the retail trade. “However, there is still a gap in special payments such as Christmas and vacation pay,” criticized Akman. Therefore there is no alternative to concluding a collective agreement.

Verdi has been fighting for years to ensure that Amazon employees get a collective agreement and are paid according to the tariff for retail and mail order.

Millions from ruin
The US economy is on the up again – but by no means everyone is benefiting from it.

Amazon said the company already offers “excellent wages, excellent benefits and excellent career opportunities” in a “safe, modern work environment.” “Everyone at Amazon has these advantages and opportunities, as well as the possibility of direct exchange with executives.” According to the company, around 16,000 people are permanently employed in Amazon’s logistics in Germany.

Amazon pointed out that the majority of the employees work “like on any other day” and that the parcels get to the customers on time. Agencies / nd

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