Tag Archives: Labor Disputes

Amazon said the shipments were not affected by the strike in Germany | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: Amazon logo seen at the company’s logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, February 20, 2017. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol / File Photo

DUESSELDORF (Reuters) – US e-commerce group Amazon on Monday said shipments were not affected by the strike at its six sites in Germany.

The Verdi trade union has been calling on workers to go on strike since Sunday evening for four days in its latest attempt to try to force Amazon to recognize a collective bargaining agreement.

An Amazon spokesman said more than 90% of staff at German logistics locations worked as usual, adding employees enjoyed “excellent salaries, excellent additional benefits and excellent career prospects”.

Amazon has faced a long-running battle with unions in Germany, its biggest market after the United States, over better wages and conditions for logistics workers, who have been on strike since 2013.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Written by Christoph Steitz; Edited by Caroline Copley


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Stellantis will halt production at an Italian car plant in April, the union said | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: The Stellantis logo is seen at the main entrance of the FCA Mirafiori factory in Turin, Italy, 18 January 2021. REUTERS / Massimo Pinca / File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – Automaker Stellantis will halt production at its factory in Melfi, southern Italy for the period April 2-12 due to low demand triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, the UILM trade union said on Monday.

Production at the plant, where the world’s fourth-largest automaker makes the Jeep Renegade and Compass models as well as the Fiat 500X compact SUV, has been repeatedly disrupted due to weak demand and a shortage of semiconductor supplies.

The FIM CISL union said last week that the company was considering permanently closing one of its two production lines at the Melfi plant to cope with excess capacity in Italy.

Car registrations in Europe fell 23% year on year in the first two months of this year, according to industry data, as the protracted coronavirus lockdown and the resulting uncertainty continued to influence spending decisions among families and businesses.

UILM’s Gianluca Ficco said on Monday that the company told the union that the latest Melfi production freeze was specifically due to low demand and not a result of a global chip shortage.

A Stellantis spokesperson confirmed the plant will be closed for the period April 2-12.

More than 7,000 Melfi workers will be placed on leave schemes during this period.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Edited by Edmund Blair


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German unions are calling for a four-day strike on the Amazon site ahead of Easter | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: A box from Amazon.com pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado July 23, 2008. REUTERS / Rick Wilking

BERLIN (Reuters) – The Verdi trade union has called on workers at six Amazon sites in Germany to go on strike starting late Sunday for four days in its latest attempt to try to force US e-commerce groups to acknowledge collective bargaining agreements.

Verdi said strikes at Amazon’s site in Rheinberg, Werne, Koblenz, Leipzig and at two locations in Bad Hersfeld signaled “unofficial beginnings” for talks for the retail and mail order industries, which will begin in the next few weeks.

“Amazon has succeeded in overcoming the coronavirus crisis. For this reason alone, wage embezzlement must stop there, ”said Verdi’s representative, Orhan Akman.

Verdi is demanding a 4.5% salary increase for workers in the retail and mail order industry.

“This should also be possible on Amazon this year,” said Akman.

Amazon has faced a long-running battle with unions in Germany over better wages and conditions for logistics workers, who have been on strike since 2013.

Germany is Amazon’s largest market after the United States.

Amazon says it offers an excellent salary and benefits. It said during the previous strike, more than 90% of the employees at the logistics center were working as usual.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise


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ArcelorMittal is looking for partners, subsidies for cleaner steelmaking in Germany | Instant News

(Adding the DRI plant in Bremen in paragraphs 7 and 9)

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – ArcelorMittal is seeking partners and public funding to curb carbon emissions from steelmaking at its German operation where plans for alternative technologies are far ahead, said the head of Europe’s largest steel producer.

European steelmakers are under pressure to reduce carbon emissions while maintaining profitability in a market where there is fierce competition, particularly from China, while pollution permit fees are soaring higher.[L8N2L94CD]

“We are looking for partners from the energy sector to generate renewable energy,” Geert Van Poelvoorde, the new chief executive of ArcelorMittal Europe, told Reuters in an interview.

“We want to replace carbon and increase the use of scrap metal.”

The company estimates it will cost between 1 and 1.5 billion euros ($ 1.18-1.77 billion) to transform the Bremen and Eisenhuettenstadt plants, said Van Poelvoorde.

The company will close blast furnaces at each of the two factories and build electric arc furnaces for scrap smelting.

It will build iron ore direct reduction (DRI) plants in Bremen and Eisenhuettenstadt, which can run on gas as a transition fuel initially, and later on hydrogen, which is considered carbon neutral when it comes from renewable electricity.

The DRI process cuts CO2 versus the integrated blast furnace route by two-thirds.

The Bremen and Eisenhuettenstadt plans “have the potential to save five million tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s important, “said Van Poelvoorde.

Separately, ArcelorMittal’s so-called “smart carbon” will use carbon recycled from bioenergy, green electricity, and carbon capture and use.

Meanwhile in France, the French Finance Minister said during a visit to the Fos-sur-Mer ArcelorMittal plant in southern France that ArcelorMittal is investing 63 million euros to cut the plant’s carbon emissions, which will include a 15 million euro subsidy from the French state.

Van Poelvoorde said the positive results of applying for subsidies of up to 60% of investment at the German and EU levels were critical to Germany’s plans which will be completed possibly early next year and will be implemented between 2025 and 2030.

The EU needs to impose border protection tariffs on imported steel from countries with heavy carbon loads, he said.

Consumers should also be prepared to accept higher steel costs, around 60%, for cleaner manufacturing processes, he said.

($ 1 = 0.8480 euros)

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff, Vera Eckert; additional reporting by Thomas Leigh, editing by Maria Sheahan and Elaine Hardcastle


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Amazon workers in Italy are calling for the first company-wide strike for March 22 | Instant News

ROME (Reuters) – Amazon workers in Italy will go on a 24-hour strike on March 22 after negotiations with the US online giant over congested working conditions, the union said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: Amazon logo seen at the company’s logistics center in Boves, France, August 8, 2018. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol / Photo Files / Photo Files / Photo Files

The world’s largest online retailer employs 8,500 people in Italy and this will be the first strike by the 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 a sudden halt because of the company’s reluctance to positively address the issues raised”.

The union has asked the company to revise several aspects of staff contracts, including workload, shifts, contract terms, lunch vouchers, yield-related bonuses and travel payments. He also asked that the driver’s working hours be cut.

“Amazon is demonstrating, with unacceptable behavior, that it is chronically unavailable to confront workers’ representation, which goes against the rules of national contracts and against the justice system,” said a union statement.

Amazon said the union’s claim was “false” and that the company had met with the union twice in January, a company spokesman said in an emailed statement.

He added that given that logistics staff include several delivery service providers, they are believed to have to speak directly to them as well as with the trade unions that represent them.

The strike will affect all Amazon workers in supply chains, hubs and delivery operations in Italy.

US companies have invested 5.8 billion euros ($ 6.94 billion) in Italy since starting operations there 10 years ago. In January they announced they would open two logistics centers with an additional investment of € 230 million.

Last year, about a third of the staff working at Amazon’s delivery station in Italy went on strike over a request to increase safety measures for workers amid a health emergency due to the coronavirus.

($ 1 = 0.8361 euros)

Reporting by Elvira Pollina in Milan and Francesca Piscioneri Roma, editing by Giulia Segreti and Susan Fenton


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