Black Friday: Amazon closes shops in Germany, Italy

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(dpa/NAN) Amazon workers at six German locations were on strike on Friday to coincide with peak sales day — Black Friday — to gain leverage in negotiations on better pay and working conditions.

Workers in the towns of Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, Rheinberg, Werne, Graben and Koblenz stayed away from work from midnight (2300 GMT) onwards and planned to continue their strike called by the Verdi union until the end of the late shift on Saturday.

Ronny Streich, a representative from Verdi said “in the name of Jeff Bezos and the customers, workers are expected to deliver top performances on Black Friday under working conditions that will make people ill in the long-term.

“Something has to change and Amazon must finally face its responsibilities.”

Meanwhile, in Italy, Amazon was also facing work stoppages, with more than 500 workers at the Castel San Giovanni warehouse in the province of the northern town of Piacenza, abstaining from work from 6 a.m. on Friday to 6 a.m. on Saturday.

Italian unions have criticised the United States (U.S.) multinational for refusing to negotiate higher salaries and bonuses, “despite the enormous growth’’ enjoyed by Amazon in Italy, where it operated for the past seven years.”