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Originally published January 7, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Page modified January 7, 2014 at 12:56 PM

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Amazon gets support in union row from some German workers

More than 1,000 workers at Amazon warehouses in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig sign anti-union petition, worried in part about potential backlash if their jobs move elsewhere.

Seattle Times business reporter

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A group of Amazon warehouse workers in Germany has put together a petition to oppose the unionization efforts of some of their colleague, collecting more than 1,000 signatures.

The German regional daily newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung first reported on the petition that’s circulating among workers in Amazon’s warehouses in Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig. Those are the same warehouses, along with another in Graben, where more than 1,000 employees who don’t have a contract staged a one-day strike last month to oppose Amazon’s decision to categorize them as “logistics” workers rather than higher-paying “retail” staff.

An Amazon spokesman said the petition was initiated by the company’s warehouse workers, but declined to comment further. A spokesman for Ver.di, the German union that represents some Amazon workers, did not immediately respond to an email query.

Amazon posted the petition on a blog it has created to offer its perspective regarding the German warehouses. The petition notes that the unionization efforts have led to community pressure on warehouse workers from residents worried about the economic fallout of Amazon jobs moving elsewhere. Amazon recently announced plans to open three warehouses in nearby Poland.

Jay Greene: 206-464-2231 or Twitter: iamjaygreene

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