Amazon workers in Italy went on strike on Monday, as several trade unions called on their members to put pressure on the company in a row over labor conditions for delivery staff and in warehouses.
Members of the FILT-CGIL, FIT-CISL and Uiltrasporti unions walked out of their workplaces in several Italian cities, including Florence and Pisa, after they argued that complaints about labor conditions had gone unaddressed by the e-commerce giant.
According to local media, some 9,500 warehouse workers and 15,000 drivers are taking part in the strike.
Workers have called on Amazon to provide a “more humane working schedule,” as warehouse workers and delivery drivers complain that the shifts are too long and exhausting. The strike participants also asked Amazon clients not to make purchases on the site for 24 hours.
We’re not asking for pay rises right now, but for a more humane working schedule.
However, Amazon’s country manager in Italy, Mariangela Marseglia, said in an open letter shared by the media that the company puts its workers first. “At Amazon we respect the right of every individual to express their position,” she wrote. “…The facts are that we put our employees and those of third-party suppliers first by offering them a safe, modern and inclusive work environment, with competitive wages among the highest in the sector, benefits and excellent opportunities for professional growth.”
The strike action in Italy comes as Amazon faces pressure in Europe and the United States over similar concerns about conditions for workers, particularly in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Employees have argued that they are not adequately protected from the virus in their workplaces due to a lack of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
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