business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Reuters reports that "the trade union Verdi has called for workers at six Amazon sites in Germany to go on strike from Sunday evening for four days in the latest attempt to try to force the U.S. e-commerce group to recognise collective bargaining agreements.

"Verdi said the strikes at Amazon's sites in Rheinberg, Werne, Koblenz, Leipzig and at two locations in Bad Hersfeld signalled an 'unofficial start' to wage talks for the retail and mail order industry, which are due to begin in the next few weeks."

The story notes that "Amazon has faced a long-running battle with unions in Germany over better pay and conditions for logistics workers, who have frequently staged strikes since 2013 … Amazon says it offers excellent pay and benefits. It has said during past calls for strikes over 90% of employees in the logistic centres worked as normal."

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"The small waterfront community of Red Hook, in Brooklyn, is home to a cruise terminal, a 346,000-square-foot Ikea store and one of two Tesla showrooms in New York City.

"Some residents say they have managed to coexist with a variety of large commercial footprints but have concerns about two future neighbors. Amazon. com Inc. and United Parcel Service Inc. both have plans for package-and-delivery hubs in the area to keep up with skyrocketing e-commerce demand. Other package-distribution sites in the area could be on the way, according to local elected officials."

The story goes on:  "Some residents said fleets of trucks and sprinter vans coming in and out will increase congestion on the neighborhood’s narrow roads, many of which are in disrepair. Surrounded by water on three sides and bordered by an often-clogged expressway, Red Hook has only a few ways for trucks to enter the neighborhood.

"Amazon and UPS said they are committed to being good neighbors, communicating with residents and mitigating the impact of their delivery hubs on traffic congestion and pollution."

Saying that Tesla and Ikea are okay, but you don't want Amazon, strikes me as reminiscent of the great scene in Blazing Saddles where the citizens of Rock Ridge say which ethnic groups they're willing to accept and which one they are not.  (I can't quote the scene or even link to it - it is so politically incorrect by 2021 standards that I'd get roasted.  In fact, I'll probably even get criticized for mentioning it, and the fact that I think it remains a supremely funny cinema moment.)