DusseldorfFormer Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, famous for his pragmatism, was convinced: “Anyone who has visions should go to the doctor.” Ralf Kleber, Germany's head of Amazon, sees this a little differently. “Anyone who has visions should go to Amazon,” says the manager. “We are looking for people who are passionate about digital innovation and want to invent something new.”
And that's what the online giant is looking for. The company plans to create around 2,800 additional permanent jobs in Germany alone this year. This will increase the number of employees in Germany to more than 20,000. A broad range of specialists are to be hired, including software developers, linguists, logistics experts and IT professionals.
Overall, Amazon now has 35 locations in Germany. The German market is the most important foreign market for the company and is growing strongly. Turnover in Germany in 2018 was $ 19.9 billion – 17 percent more than the year before.
Of course, a large part of the new jobs will also be accounted for by simple activities in the warehouses. For example, Amazon is opening its 13th logistics center in Mönchengladbach this year.
Despite high levels of automation, new employees are constantly being sought for the bearings. “Robots have not replaced employees,” said Robert Marhan, Amazon recruitment manager for European logistics centers, recently in an interview with Handelsblatt. “There will always be a combination of man and machine.”
But just the working conditions and the payment in the Amazon camps are regularly criticized. Time and again the Verdi union is calling for strikes there. She calls for a collective agreement for the Amazon employees, which the company rejects.
Verdi board member Stefanie Nutzberger has stated that the workers wanted to end the strike “also the arbitrariness of a trading company, which puts pressure on his employees with work and comprehensive controls.”
Amazon gets image problem with the customers
This Monday, Amazon is celebrating its Prime Day, where the company wants to bargain its customers with bargains and earn a lot of revenue. Verdi has in the past used such events for publicity strikes.
Again this year Verdi could try again to hit Amazon sensitive to this busy day. In the US, Amazon employees at the logistics center in Shakopee, Minnesota have already announced that they want to strike on Prime Day.
Germany boss Kleber defends itself against the reproach, the warehouse workers would be unfairly treated at Amazon. He emphasizes that Amazon has “excellent pay, excellent career opportunities and attractive benefits”.
The employees in the German logistics centers start with a wage of at least 10.78 euros gross per hour. After two years, it averages almost 2400 euros gross per month, including performance-based premiums and special payments. In addition, employees benefited from shares and other extras such as paid overtime, life and disability insurance or company pension plans.
That Amazon is now going on the job again on the offensive, is not surprising. Because more and more this topic for Amazon also begins to become an image problem. This has just been shown by a survey of the Handelsforschungsinstitut IFH from Cologne on Amazon customers.
Thus, the company received top marks in the question of growth opportunities and customer orientation. At the same time, respondents said Amazon would not treat its employees well and was not a good employer.
More: Why Prime Day is not a holiday for Amazon retailers. Third party merchants account for almost half of Amazon sales. However, they only partially benefit from the heavily staged Prime Day of the online platform.