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Amazon workers in Leipzig start 48-hour strike for higher wages

(Reuters) - Workers at Amazon's warehouses in Germany's eastern city of Leipzig started a 48-hour strike on Monday to press for higher wages, the country's public sector union ver.di said.

The workers want a collective labour agreement that includes a 2.5 euro ($2.73) per hour wage increase for a 12-month period, a 250-euro wage hike for apprentices and for the labour agreement to be binding for the company.

Ronny Streich, a representative of the ver.di union which called the strike, said some employers in the retail and delivery industry offered a 3% wage increase for the first year of the agreement and described it as "a slap in the face".

Amazon is not bound by collective agreements and doesn't take part in these negotiations.

The company said it saw no impact from strikes on its operations, adding that it provides "some of the most advanced workplaces of their kind in the world" for its employees, "with competitive pay, processes, and systems to ensure their well-being and safety".

"The converted starting wage in Germany is 13 euros gross per hour upwards (in Leipzig 13.43), including bonus payments," the world's biggest online retailer said.

(This story has been corrected to remove reference to Amazon in paragraph 3)

($1 = 0.9173 euros)

(Reporting by Andrey Sychev; editing by Matthias Williams and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)