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Amazon Strike, Italian Style

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Turns out that Amazon’s tyrannical workplace regimes developed in the U.S. with its relatively weak labor laws and quiescent labor force aren’t going over well in Italy. And there, workers know what to do.

Unions in Italy said on Thursday they had called on workers at Amazon’s logistics operations in the country to go on a 24-hour strike on March 22 after talks with a business lobby group over working conditions of delivery service suppliers broke down.

It will be the first strike affecting Amazon’s entire logistics operations in Italy and will involve workers at Amazon’s warehouses and logistics hubs as well as external providers of delivery services. The latter are represented by employer association Assoespressi.

National unions FILT-CGIL, FIT-CISL and Uiltrasporti said negotiations with Assoespressi over contracts for workers at Amazon’s delivery service suppliers had come “to an abrupt halt because of the lobby’s unwillingness to positively address the issues raised”.

The unions had asked Assoespressi to revise several aspects of staff’s contracts, including workloads, shifts, lunch vouchers, results-linked bonuses and payments for travel. It also asked for drivers’ working hours to be cut.

What we are seeing in Alabama is going to happen over and over and over again, both in the U.S. and abroad. In the end, Amazon is going to start losing these wars and it’s going to have to adjust its way of doing business. Now, that may not be in the U.S. For instance, Walmart is probably the most anti-union large corporation in America, but in Chile, it has had to accept unions because there just wasn’t any way around it. Between worker culture and national law, they had to deal with it in order to operate.

When you have an operation that treats workers like trash, they will eventually fight back.

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