30. May 2013–
After Amazon Germany's logistic centre staff went on strike earlier this week in a dispute over too-low wages, Zalando has announced its factory workers will receive a modest boost in pay rates. Previously getting €8.53 an hour, the 2500 workers in Zalando's logistics centres in Erfurt and Brieselang will now be making €8.79 per hour. The logistics staff at the Brandenburg centre, which is not operated by Zalando itself, will have to wait for an increase; they're still getting between €7.58 and €7.80.
It’s interesting to note that Zalando’s wages are still well below the amount Amazon workers have been getting pre-strike. At the moment, Amazon's logistics staff receive between €9.65 and €11.12 per hour – which worker's union ver.di, which organised the strikes, says is still below the wage agreement in Germany for the retail and mail-order industries. If they were to match these set wages, Amazon workers could see an increase of up to €9000 per year. The reason their logistics staff are not receiving these pay rates is, according to Amazon, because they are working in the logistics business, not in retail or mail-order.
So far, Zalando hasn't faced any backlash over wages in the form of union organisation or strikes from its logistics centre workers, Zalando spokesperson Kristin Dolgner told us. She said the company is in constant dialogue with employees and will increase wages in time, adding that it also pays less as a result of only starting to do its own logistics in 2011. She also said that workers enjoy other, non-salary based perks – such as monthly allowance for public transport tickets, coupons, a pension plan and bonuses as well as reduced-price meals in the canteen.
However, with €1b in revenue last year, the company recently broke even for the first time in its core regions – meaning any sort of startup excuse might not hold for that much longer.
For related posts, check out
Zalando doubles sales to €1bn, breaks even for the first time in home region
Zalando founders discuss €1bn revenue, return rates, IPO rumours
Zalando, Xing, Rocket, Groupon, Project A – the secret employee reviews of 5 notable German companies