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Workers pack boxes at Amazon's logistics centre in Graben near Augsburg December 16, 2013.
Workers pack boxes at Amazon's logistics centre in Graben near Augsburg December 16, 2013.
(Michaela Rehle/Reuters)

How Amazon stole German labour unions’ Christmas

Amazon.com Inc. has no doubt made Christmas shopping a bit easier than in years past, especially for those who flock to the web for deals and avoid lines at the mall. But ask a German worker, and the Seattle web giant might actually be this year’s Grinch.

Hundreds of Amazon workers are on strike in Germany this week, not coincidentally the peak Christmas shipping time for the e-commerce titan. The strikes, which workers voted Wednesday to extend, are just the latest in a string of disputes over pay and working conditions in Amazon warehouses, suggesting that Amazon’s business model – and the jobs it creates – are not so different from the retail dinosaurs they’re replacing, after all.