Amazon raises minimum pay in Germany to EUR12 per hour

FRANKFURT (CNA) – Amazon will guarantee an entry-level wage at its German warehouses of EUR12 an hour, the company said in the face of a long-running battle with a top labour union.

Germany is Amazon’s biggest market after the United States (US), and the Verdi union has been organising strikes at Amazon in the country since 2013 to protest low pay and poor conditions.

The pay increase is effective from July and compares with entry-level pay as low as EUR11.30 per hour for some locations, though pay exceeded EUR12 in other locations.

Amazon’s wages exceed Germany’s current minimum wage of EUR9.50 per hour. But workers have regularly gone on strike, such as last year to coincide with the USD1.6 trillion company’s global ‘Prime Day’ promotion event. They were disgruntled that a coronavirus bonus had been scrapped.

A Verdi official said that the increase was the least that the company could do after “earning a pretty penny in recent months” and that pay still fell short of its demands for many employees.

Amazon – which saw net profit rise to USD8.1 billion in the first quarter, more than tripling from USD2.5 billion the year earlier – has faced similar criticism over conditions and pay throughout the globe.

A spokesperson for Amazon in Germany said employees would be getting a raise, and Amazon said in a statement that further increases were scheduled for the future.

The Amazon logo displayed at the Nasdaq Market Site. PHOTO: AP