Amazon Germany: Improve the working conditions of your contract workers

Petition of Heiner Reimann, Verdi – District Frankfurt am Main and Region

Recipient: Amazon.de GmbH Christiane Hoeger, company spokeswoman Amazon Ralf Kleber, Executive Director, Amazon.de GmbH, Amazon.de GmbH Dr. Thorsten Reuber, Senior General Manager, Media

The ARD recently showed a documentary about the online retailer Amazon. The documentary entitled “Committed! Temporary workers at Amazon “show the adverse conditions under which the workers preparing packages for shipment the report draws a wave of indignation on Facebook by itself -. Now is the time to act constructively!

Temporary workers are required to sign contracts that they do not understand. They are paid less than expected. They are paid only when they are needed and then sent back to their mass accommodation. They have no voice, because every little thing can mean job loss.

We ask for contract workers and temporary workers who work for the world’s biggest online retailer Amazon to get more rights and better working conditions. The labor market in Germany is becoming more flexible. What does that mean? More fixed term contracts; state-paid “internships” in companies. Temporary and circumvention of applicable minimum standards by constructions such as work contracts.   

Amazon is a great, an important company – not only in the mail. We want Amazon to be in Germany. But the very large and important companies have a responsibility; everyone understands that a mail order company must keep its workforce flexibility in seasonal peak periods such as Easter and Christmas. What we do not understand is for such a large company like Amazon to exploit the loopholes of German labor law.

Dr. Thorsten Reuber, Senior General Manager, Media Dear Board of Amazon Germany: “Amazon is a great, an important company. We want Amazon have in Germany. But the very large and important companies have a responsibility. Everyone understands that a mail order company must keep its workforce flexibility in seasonal peak periods such as Easter and Christmas. What we do not understand that such a large company like Amazon to exploit the loopholes of German labor law.” 

We wish for Amazon to be an exemplary company without schemes for employees, to show there is a special company for employers beyond tricks and loopholes for maximizing business profits.

We demand that Amazon:

1. Never use pressure for its contractors that work with temporary agencies. Quit the precarious situation of the employees. Let’s pay fair wages, ask for adequate living conditions, realistic driving journeys to work and transparent contracts.

2. Demonstrate strength and location of connectedness! Accept a collective agreement for the employees directly from Amazon.

3. Update as of 18.2. – Security companies not only training but a careful preliminary examination with which Amazon concludes contracts for non-compliance of the compliance agreements immediate separation, termination of the contract partners, the contracts.

In solidarity with temporary workers in Germany affected by Amazon we ask for your support in signing the following petition letter to Amazon. We ask for contract workers and temporary workers who work for the world’s biggest online retailer Amazon to get more rights and better working conditions.

 

Let us create 50,000 signatures in support of workers’ rights

Please join in global support for Germany temporary workers to improve their working conditions as Amazon contract workers  

Original petition link: https://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/amazon-deutschland-verbessern-sie-die-arbeitsbedingungen-ihrer-leiharbeiter

 

Petition translated by Missy Chiprin

Editing: Gia Ibarra

 

 

Music4Freedom’s response to Amazon’s holiday season abuse of temporary workers

The holiday season true to the dominant paradigm within our global economy where corporate interests and downsizing prevail, relying on cheap labor in order to sustain transnational empires. Labor arrangements of mass production ensuring corporate profit and consumer satisfaction, are navigated upon the bodies of low wage workers. In effect entire systems rely on the creation of over worked, low wage workers. Recent labor abuse and subsequent protests at Amazon Germany capture and illuminate the nature of such egregious transnational markets.

Just days before the Christmas holiday began; Germany’s temporary and migrant workers hired by Amazon were dismissed from their jobs taking with them the false promise of becoming a full-time worker for Amazon in exchange for being underpaid workers subjected to high surveillance, and a business model that leads to high levels of stress, injury and mistreatment

Amazon whose company is popular during the holiday season recently fired 600+ of its temporary workers in Germany just days before Christmas after their harsh labor had already been completed. Read more about that story in this Dutch article. It is not uncommon to read news about temporary workers being fired and going on strike, leaving their jobs as a form of protest for their low paying, underpaid jobs and unfair treatment; However, Amazon has a well documented history of suddenly firing, laying off both permanent and temporary workers, yet the news of this is largely ignored by mainstream media who merely highlights the issue

“As customers we are often unaware of the treatment temporary and migrant workers face while making, packaging and placing online orders. We are a direct link to the growing demand for cheap labor and abusive labor practices worldwide. The products we choose to purchase, on a daily basis directly support the companies who hire and exploit the workers who make the products we order. Every purchase we make is then connected from the consumer, to the company and directly to the temporary workers who make and package the products we order.” -Gia Ibarra | Founder of Music4Freedom


Missy Chiprin Writes: To be considered is the ease with which a company can devise strategies of production while avoiding scrutiny by the public. Online shopping facilitates such practices as we sit behind our pretty screens, labor made invisible; coupled with the dehumanization of employees, as we are further removed from the very real people who process our online orders within distribution centers, far from our minds eye. We click buttons, “send” to our cart, transaction completed with no human involved, ostensibly all is well. We should not underestimate the effects this all might have on made-to-us-anonymous workers. In contrast with the exploitive labor practices at brick and mortar retail outlets, complete with long lines of customers, employees struggling to meet consumers needs and demands, as they tend to carelessly left merchandise by hurried shoppers such as Wal-Mart are far harder to hide.”

Missy went on to discuss three types of stress, mapped out within Amazon’s business model Raising critical questions which begged to be answered, including as we challenge such business practices, how are we empowering the employees. For we are bearing witness to and committing our support, embodied within an atmosphere which creates an unsafe environment, workers have the answers, and most certainly have a powerful voice

Amazon’s 3 levels of stress business model

1. Physical labor combined with unrealistic and unattainable goals dominate the work environment. Charting this is critical to identifying the dependence on one body’s ability to work under oppressive conditions, placing often life time of stress on one’s physical being

2. Mental stress of Job insecurity becomes evident under the frame work of the cortex, the nexus of exploitive labor practices ensued. Equally threatening, Amazon employees are well aware of the countless temporary workers eagerly ready to replace them if they do not make their goals and/or are fired

3. A disturbing practice of inducing emotional stress. Intentionally, workers are subjected to feeling they are not good enough, so as to cause them to work harder and worse challenging their belief of their own autonomy, by creating dependence out of the false belief, of their own lack. Within the contours of capitalism, historically enacting destructive methods lie such markers we ought to take heed

Missy Chiprin is Producer at The Scholar’s Circle & Music4Freedom Media Director


Music4Freedom: A music organization whose focus is advocating for human rights through its music campaigns has decided to protest Amazon’s unfair treatment of migrant and temporary workers in Germany and worldwide by taking down all of its 2013 music releases which includes the following: music4freedom, artists4freedom & Johnito online music releases:

 

An EP focusing on peace and protest music “Be Free” -EP- by Artists4Freedom

 

“United Artists for Change” An anti-Slavery Album by Music4Freedom to benefit the Abolish Slavery Coalition

 

The recently released single and tribute song to Edward Snowden “Resistance Is Vital” by Johnito, supported by Artists4Freedom

Music4Freedom’s music releases are in process of being taken down from Amazon’s MP3 music stores worldwide with no notice of being resubmitted in the future to Amazon MP3 music stores until Amazon stops it’s abuse of temporary and migrant workers worldwide including changing their policy for keeping and maintaining temporary workers within their company without the possibility of becoming full time equally paid workers

“Workers everywhere around the world are facing, more or less, the same struggle as the ‘financial crisis’ is continuing.” -Johnito

Johnito who is a part of Artists4Freedom an Independent Artists group that advocates for human rights through their music has also asked his fans to continue the support of his music through other music stores excluding Amazon’s MP3 Music Store

Johnito and Music4Freedom stands in solidarity with the 600+ German temporary workers, who were used, mistreated and fired days before Christmas by Amazon and its third party hiring staff in order to get their holiday season orders shipped to customers. We believe in the fair treatment of all workers and expect to see Amazon make the necessary changes needed to their highly demanding workers system that abuses and damages the physical, mental and emotional health of its workers. We hope this message reaches all corporations who take advantage of migrant workers vulnerabilities and those who deny temporary workers their rights to fair treatment and equal pay. –End-


Music4Freedom encourages listeners to continue to support our work and music by not purchasing our music through Amazon MP3 while it is in the process of being taken down and instead stream, preview and purchase our music through the following music stores:

Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, emusic, Music Unlimited, Xbox Music, MOG, 7Digital, rdio, Deezer, Rhapsody, MySpace music, last.fm, simfy, muvemusic,

Continued: nokia, medianet, iHeartRadio, wimp, shazam, gracenote, Jukemymusic, slacker, JB HI-FI Now Music, MediaNet, TradeBit, GreatIndieMusic, Myxer, 24-7, Omnifone, Bloom.fm, Boinc, Samsung music hub

Spotify: Artists4Freedom

Artists4Freedom Singles: Artists4Freedom – Be Free

Music4Freedom Album: Various Artists – United Artists for Change

4Snowden Campaign: Resistance Is Vital by Johnito on Spotify – A tribute to Edward Snowden & All whistleblowers, freedom activists worldwide.

ITUNES: iTunes Various Artists – United Artists for Changehttps://itun.es/i6F53RF

Artists4Freedom – Be Free – EPhttps://itun.es/i6Fz4f6   

Johnito – Resistance Is Vital – Singlehttps://itun.es/i6Fz4fg


TAKE ACTION:

In solidarity with temporary workers in Germany affected by Amazon we ask for your support in signing the following petition letter to Amazon. We ask for contract workers and temporary workers who work for the world’s biggest online retailer Amazon to get more rights and better working conditions.

Let us create 50,000 signatures in support of workers’ rights

Please join in global support for Germany temporary workers to improve their working conditions as Amazon contract workers  

Petition link: https://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/amazon-deutschland-verbessern-sie-die-arbeitsbedingungen-ihrer-leiharbeiter

 

Missy Chiprin, Johnito & Gia Ibarra contributed to the writing of this post.