Amazon raises minimum pay in Germany to 12 euros per hour


FILE PHOTO: An Amazon logo is pictured at a logistics centre in Mannheim, Germany, September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Amazon will guarantee an entry-level wage at its German warehouses of 12 euros ($15) an hour, the company said on Friday in the face of a long-running battle with a top labour union.

Germany is Amazon's biggest market after the United States, and the Verdi union has been organising strikes at Amazon in the country since 2013 to protest low pay and poor conditions.

The pay increase is effective from July and compares with entry-level pay as low as 11.30 euros per hour for some locations, though pay exceeded 12 euros in other locations.

Amazon's wages exceed Germany's current minimum wage of 9.50 euros per hour. But workers have regularly gone on strike, such as last year to coincide with the $1.6 trillion company's global "Prime Day" promotion event. They were disgruntled that a coronavirus bonus had been scrapped.

A Verdi official said that the increase was the least that the company could do after "earning a pretty penny in recent months" and that pay still fell short of its demands for many employees.

Amazon - which saw net profit rise to $8.1 billion in the first quarter, more than tripling from $2.5 billion the year earlier - has faced similar criticism over conditions and pay throughout the globe.

A spokesperson for Amazon in Germany said all employees would be getting a raise, and Amazon said in a statement that further increases were scheduled for the future.

($1 = 0.8254 euros)

(Reporting by Klaus Lauer and Tom Sims; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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