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Workers at Amazon's Main Italian Site To Hold First Strike on Black Friday (reuters.com) 107

An anonymous reader shares a report: Workers at Amazon's main distribution hub in Italy are planning their first ever strike for Friday, trade unions said, threatening to disrupt one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Like the rest of Europe, Italians in recent years have embraced the U.S. tradition of Black Friday, a day of heavy discounting by retailers on the day after Thanksgiving. Unions said in a statement more than 500 Amazon workers at the Piacenza site in northern Italy had agreed to strike following a failure to negotiate bonuses with the company. Workers have also decided not to do any overtime until Dec. 31, covering the peak season for the online retailer which hires temporary workers during this period.
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Workers at Amazon's Main Italian Site To Hold First Strike on Black Friday

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  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Thursday November 23, 2017 @11:08AM (#55610695)

    In Germany they strike every year for Christmas, to get the union contract for retail workers instead of logistics ones.
    Problem is, nobody notices it, because Amazon, being a Logistics company, just reroutes shipping to Austria, Belgium, France or Poland and not a single package comes an hour late.
    You'd think that they'd learn from this, but no.

    • by Strider- ( 39683 )

      They're costing the employer more to route around them, it's having an impact on the employer.

      • They're costing the employer more to route around them, it's having an impact on the employer.

        But not as much of an impact as having to turn over the management of the company you've built to labor union bosses. Some costs are more than worth carrying.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Nothing is worse than a shit minimum wage, fuck all holidays, no sick pay, crap health coverage and firing at a whim and powerful unions kill all of those and give a bunch of management types strokes and heart attacks, double plus bonus. The shit times of two right wing political parties are coming to an end, get used to it.

    • Even more than that US Thanksgiving is not a holiday anywhere but the US so this is no different than striking on any other random day of the year.
      • by Exitar ( 809068 )

        Italians are famous for copying everything from US so in the last years Black Friday is a thing in Italy too.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 23, 2017 @11:33AM (#55610855)

      Reality check: the only way to get what you want is to force the issue.

      Employers want to pay their employees as little as possible. Every dollar they pay an employee is a dollar they can't keep. They don't set wages based on what is morally right or benevolent; but based on what they have to pay according to law or labor market economics.

      If you have a rare and valuable skill, employers will make all kinds of noble gestures towards you. But when you have a general skillset that most people have or can easily get, you are not getting a dime more than you can force them to pay you.

      If workers don't keep striking, they won't keep getting a decent wage. The moment they stop raising a fuss is the moment their pay stagnates, their working conditions start to deteriorate, and their hours start going up.

      It is *also* true that unions become self-serving predators as well. It is unfortunate, but inescapable, given that everyone involved in a union has the same "I want more for me" incentives that the greedy employers have.

      It is not pretty, but it is human. You fight for what you want, or you don't get it.

      • If you have a rare and valuable skill, employers will make all kinds of noble gestures towards you.

        No, no they don't. They do the exact same thing they do with people who haven't done anything to develop better than entry level labor skills: they let the market decide the compensation necessary to solve their problem. Why do you keep using the word "force?" Unless you mean, "choosing not to work there" is somehow "using force." Neither the employer nor the employee is "forced" to engage with the other. An economy less burdened by crushing taxes and regulatory nonsense provides for more growth in a globa

        • The thing is, there are two ways to utilize the market in deciding what a worker is worth. A) Look around at what others are paying, determine how desperate the worker is, and offer slightly less if worker is desperate, and B) determine how much value the worker provides to your company and pay them that. A) results in fairly steady race to the bottom, B) does not. Guess which method most corporations choose?
          • False dichotomy. When the economy isn't stagnating from a deathly slow recover (as it's just starting to do with a purpose, because it's being allowed to happen) and rest of the world isn't a significantly better place to set up shop (which it has been for years, with the chance that's finally going to be re-adjusted as should have been done years ago), then you settle on the price for an employee by simply offering money. If what you're offering doesn't get you the quality of employees you need, you offer
            • If this was true, then there wouldn't have to be H-1B. Companies would simply offer the amount of money they need to get the employees with the skills they need and all would be well. Shareholders may not be as happy, but the company would run fine. The fact that there are workers hired at entry level positions on H-1B proves that the job market isn't working the way you say it should. To me it demonstrates that when companies go out and attempt to hire with A) they often find employees are not desperat
              • So if you can't get someone to cut your grass well, you'd be willing to spend a million dollars every week to do it? The market economy on wages has to operate in the world as the market economy on what the employer has in the way of actual revenue to work with, as well as the availability of people who will live where they need them, etc. Don't pretend you don't understand that.

                Needless to say, the H1-B visa program is regularly abused, and immigration generally is a train wreck.
                • No that's not what I said at all. I'm not making a million dollars by having them cut my grass, so why would I pay them a million dollars?
      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        It is *also* true that unions become self-serving predators as well. It is unfortunate, but inescapable, given that everyone involved in a union has the same "I want more for me" incentives that the greedy employers have.

        Except it's not the same as the union is far more dependent on the long-term success of the company than the greedy executive. The exec can cash out by gutting the company that will result in its failure in a few years, but generate short term profits, collecting his bonuses & selling

  • they haven't busted their Unions like they have over here in the States. Unions are basically dead here. How did Europe pull that off?
    • they haven't busted their Unions like they have over here in the States. Unions are basically dead here. How did Europe pull that off?

      Not as evil?

    • by r1348 ( 2567295 )

      We didn't elect Reagan?
      Ayn Rand was considered laughing stock here (the few who knew she existed anyway)?
      We didn't elect Trump?

    • The right to form unions is part of most constitutions in Europe, and on top of that aright granted by the european charter.
      Unions and companies affected work different than in the US anyway ... there is no force for workers to be in a union.

    • they haven't busted their Unions like they have over here in the States. Unions are basically dead here. How did Europe pull that off?

      Europe has been around a lot longer than the US. They know their history and they've seen it all. Revolutions where rich people have their heads cut off. Cities burning. Right-wing fascists marching in the streets and burning people in ovens. They've seen feudalism first-hand.

      Here in the US, people are still naive enough to believe what their leaders tell them and there'

      • by rossdee ( 243626 )

        "Europe has beel around a lot longer than the US."

        BS
        The United States of America has been a country for a lot longer than the European Union.

        100 years ago the Italians were fighting ob the same side as the French and British, against Germany and Austria
        Although a couple decades later they were on the same side as the Germans, until we invaded them.

        • 100 years ago the Italians were fighting ob the same side as the French and British, against Germany and Austria
          Although a couple decades later they were on the same side as the Germans, until we invaded them.

          Italians had a developed republican form of government when Americans were still painting their bodies and worshiping the Sun.

          The United States is said to be a "Christian" nation. The Italians had a rich, developed civilization a millennium before Christ was born.

        • The United States of America has been a country for a lot longer than the European Union.

          Definitely, since The European Union isn't a country yet, and probably never will be.

      • "Here in the US, we've been trained to believe that the aggregation of capital is a wondrous and magical thing, but the aggregation of labor is some satanic Maoist plot to destroy society."

        LOL. That is awesome. Don't know if I agree but it has the ring of truth.

  • Employees can be greedy, too.
    • Yup, pretty much the only way to keep a level playing field these days.
  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Thursday November 23, 2017 @01:11PM (#55611319)
    I like the idea of unions however every union I've been in has been about protecting the jobs of the union organizers. Supposedly anyone could run for a union position. In reality the current board members control the agenda, the vote and the communication. 2 out of the 3 times I was in a union they acted specifically against my interests. One union had less respect for peoples lives the employer, this was a Canadian hospital so the bar was pretty low.

    I think we need laws to protect union members from the unions, to make the unions more transparent and to better regulate how people are appointed to union positions. Until then unions will be useless or harmful to their members.
    • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

      boilterplate Hatorade is boilerplate. Only variation in your fairy tale is the use of the first person, as opposed to my girlfriend's-borther's-roomates's-uncle's perspective.

  • I'm sure Italians have their busiest shopping day on their Black Friday holiday, just after eating all that Tacchino arrosto ripieno.

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