Amazon workers in Europe go on strike during Prime Day

Ben Fox Rubin/Techhnews

Amazon workers in Europe walked off their jobs on Monday, even as orders flooded in for the e-tailer’s annual Prime Day sale.

Almost 1,800 workers in Spain went on strike Monday, according to The Washington Post, and more are expected to join the protest on Tuesday in Germany and Poland. The warehouse crew are reportedly protesting working conditions, pay and health benefits.

Verdi, a service sector union, said workers in Amazon’s warehouses have suffered from physical and mental stress, as well as other health problems. The union blamed monotonous tasks and the demands of covering miles of warehouse rows for the problems. It also said Amazon had refused to enter negotiations over the issues.

“The message is clear: while the online giant gets rich, it’s saving money on the health of its workers,” Stefanie Nutzenberger, union representative, said in a release.

Verdi didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

“We are committed to ensuring a fair cooperation with all our employees, including positive working conditions and a caring and inclusive environment,” said an Amazon spokesperson in an email statement. “We encourage anyone to come see for themselves by taking a tour at one of our fulfillment centers.”

First published on July 16, 1:13 p.m. PT.

Updates, 1:35 p.m. PT: Adds Amazon spokesperson statement.

Spanish workers are on a three-day strike, while Polish workers will stage a work slowdown, known as work-to-rule, according to Reuters. The German strike will take place at six facilities, the news service reported.

Prime Day, an annual event to encourage people to join its Prime shipping service, started at 12 p.m. PT on Monday and runs for 36 hours. 

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