Around 350 employees started work at the opening of the Amazon logistics center in the district of Oldenburg on Monday. By the end of the year, more than 1,000 people will be employed at the site in Grossenkneten. “Most of the new Amazon employees come from the region around Cloppenburg, Oldenburg, but also from Bremen,” said the group.
They are said to be supported at work by hundreds of transport robots. The robots bring mobile shelves to the employees in goods storage and retrieval. “There is a principle here that the goods come to the employees and there are no walking distances,” said a company spokesman. Around 16 million mostly smaller items should be in stock.
“The settlement of Amazon is a real gain for the municipality of Grossenkneten and the entire region, because it creates jobs with a wide range of qualification levels and thus improves our labor market,” said Thorsten Schmidtke (SPD), mayor of the municipality of Grossenkneten. However, there were also concerns from residents beforehand, because significantly more trucks will head for the region with the new center.
A recurring point of criticism is that Amazon does not recognize the collective bargaining agreements of the retail and mail order trade. The Verdi union has been campaigning for this for years, and Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil recently also spoke out in favor of collective bargaining for Amazon employees.
Amazon pointed out that the converted entry-level wage for logistics employees in Germany will be upwards of EUR 14 gross per hour from September, including bonus payments. After two years of service, the gross salary is more than 37,000 euros per year on average. There are also extras and discounts.
The Großekneten location is the fourth Amazon logistics center in Lower Saxony after Winsen/Luhe in the Harburg district, Achim in the Verden district and Helmstedt. The group is represented at twelve locations nationwide and employs around 7,000 people.