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Amazon workers boo Jeff Bezos in Berlin

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© Provided by Quartz

By Jill Petzinger, Quartz

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos received a hostile reception when he arrived in the German capital to pick up an innovation award on Tuesday.

Some 450 Amazon workers, who are members of the powerful Verdi trade union, amassed outside the offices of publisher Axel Springer, where the awards ceremony was taking place, carrying placards reading “Make Amazon Pay.” Amazon workers from other countries, including Poland and Italy, also traveled to Berlin to join the demonstration.

“We have a boss who wants to impose American working conditions on the world and take us back to the 19th century," Verdi boss Frank Bsirske said.

Verdi has for years been a constant thorn in Amazon’s side in Germany, organizing worker strikes to demand improved pay and working conditions.

Andrea Nahles, the new leader of the Social Democrats (coalition partners in the federal government) turned up at the protest, too. She had some harsh words for Bezos, telling reporters that he didn’t deserve his prize since he treats his employees badly. Amazon employs some 16,000 people in Germany, which is its biggest market outside the U.S.

Nahles on Tuesday also labeled Amazon and other big tech companies “world champions in tax avoidance.”

Bezos defended Amazon in a fireside chat with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner on Tuesday evening, saying he was “very proud of our working conditions and I am very proud of our wages that we pay.”

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: Amazon workers boo Jeff Bezos in Berlin
Amazon workers boo Jeff Bezos in Berlin
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Technology - U.S. Daily News
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