Amazon Germany Employees Wage Strike Under Christmas Workload Pressure

Bah, humbug. Just as the holidays approach, has an issue on its hands over in Germany. The company, which prides itself on tremendously quick turnarounds and lightning-fast shipping, is now dealing with hundreds of employees who began striking on Monday. The strike was no doubt timed to coincide with the annual holiday rush of orders, as consumers flock to the site and attempt to snap up gifts for those that they haven't addressed yet. The issue at hand? Pay and conditions, as these usually go.

For Amazon, Germany is a region worth paying attention to. It's actually the company's second-largest market behind its homeland (U.S.), with sales growing over 20% there in 2012 to nearly $9 billion. In Germany, Amazon employs around 9,000 warehouse workers plus around 14,000 seasonal workers, and 1,115 of them have joined the strike. To date, there haven't been any reported delivery delays, but that could change if things intensify.

Verdi board member Stefanie Nutzenberger stated: "The Amazon system is characterized by low wages, permanent performance pressure and short-term contracts." While this isn't the first such accusation on Amazon, it ruffles a few more feathers when seen inside of the European Union. Reportedly, Amazon pays warehouse workers at least $13.11 per hour, and the company intends to continue expanding in the country, "including eventually delivering fresh groceries, too."