Amazon workers in Italy call first company-wide strike for March 22
Amazon's workers in Italy will go on a 24-hour strike on March 22 after negotiations with the US online giant over working conditions broke down, trade unions said on Thursday.
The world's largest online retailer employs 8,500 people in Italy and this will be the first strike by its Italian workforce as a whole.
National unions Filt Cgil, Fit Cisl and Uiltrasporti e Assoespressi said talks over contracts for Amazon staff in Italy "came to an abrupt halt because of the company's unwillingness to positively address the issues raised".
The unions had asked the company to revise several aspects of staff's contracts, including workloads, shifts, contract conditions, lunch vouchers, results-linked bonuses and payments for travel. It also asked for drivers' working hours to be cut.
"Amazon shows, with an unacceptable behaviour, that it is chronically unavailable to confront workers' representatives, in defiance of national contract rules and going against a system of fairness," the unions' statement said.
Amazon said that the union's claims were "false" and that the company had already met the unions twice in January, a company spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
It added that given logistics staff included several delivery service providers, it believed it should talk directly with them as well as with the unions representing them.
The strike will affect all Amazon workers in the supply chain, hub and delivery operations in Italy.
The US company has invested 5.8 billion euros ($6.94 billion) in Italy since starting operations there 10 years ago. In January it announced it would open two logistics centres investing a further 230 million euros.
Last year around one-third of staff working at an Amazon delivery station in central Italy went on strike over requests for enhanced safety measures for workers amid the coronavirus health emergency. ($1 = 0.8361 euros)