Amazon reaches agreement with unions in Italy

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Flags fly in front of a distribution center, during a strike in Amazon logistics operations in Italy, in Passo Corese, Italy, March 22, 2021. REUTERS / Remo Casilli / File Photo

MILAN, Sept. 15 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) has reached an agreement with the Italian unions promising to engage more with them in the management of operations in the country.

The framework agreement, seen by Reuters, comes shortly after news broke that a group of Canadian workers are seeking to organize as Amazon continues to deal with the dissatisfaction of some workers at its warehouses. Read more

The world’s largest online retailer has long discouraged its staff from organizing and rejected a high-profile attempt to form a union in the United States this year.

But globally, it continues to face challenges such as the warehouse closures that French unions have called for during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a protocol signed on Wednesday, Amazon Italia agreed to consult unions on issues such as new openings, vocational training and industrial relations with the authorities.

“An important agreement … and recognition of the role of unions, marking something new, at a global level, in relations with the e-commerce giant,” said CGIL union leader Maurizio Landini.

Earlier this year, Amazon workers in Italy staged a strike against the demands of delivery drivers in the first such action by Amazon’s logistics operation in the country.

The protest came after an increase in Amazon’s e-commerce activity triggered by the health emergency.

Amazon, which has invested more than 6 billion euros ($ 7 billion) in Italy over the past 10 years and created 12,500 full-time jobs, said the deal was proof of its commitment to its engage with unions.

“We believe that the relationships built on these foundations will encourage our investment strategy in the country,” he said.

($ 1 = 0.8470 euros)

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Elvira Pollina Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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