Berlin / Paris : Amazon workers protest on Black Friday. They all call for better pay ahead of busiest shopping days.

Some Amazon workers at Amazon sites in Germany and France downed tools on Black Friday, as part of a move across the world to target the online retailer on one of the busiest shopping days of the year with calls for better pay.

The Make Amazon Pay initiative, which made the call for strikes, said industrial action was planned in more than 30 countries, including the United States.

In Germany, there were demonstrations at nine out of Amazon's 20 warehouses in the country, although on Friday morning, the company said the vast majority of its employees in Germany were working as normal.

France's SUD and CGT unions called for strike action in the country's eight warehouses.

Amazon France said there had been no sign of disruption to operations so far. Two French union officials said they were not expecting a big turnout because the rising cost-of-living was driving employees to seek overtime.

The Verdi union, which called the strikes in Germany, demanded the company recognize collective bargaining agreements for the retail and mail order trade sector and. It also called for a further collective agreement on workers' well being, with one Verdi spokesperson noting that warehouse employees can walk 15-20 per day on the job.

French unions called for a higher cash bonus for the period preceding Christmas, during which employees at warehouses are asked to do a lot of overtime work.

''As an employer, Amazon offers great pay, benefits and development opportunities - all in an attractive and safe working environment,'' a spokesperson for Amazon in Germany said in a statement.

The average wage after two years of work is more than 35,000 euros gross per year, Amazon Germany said, adding that they include extras such as subsidies for public transport and company pension plans. [Reuters]


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