© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Woman with smartphone is seen in front of displayed Amazon logo in this illustration taken, July 30, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
BERLIN (Reuters) – Workers at some Amazon (NASDAQ:) warehouses in Germany began strike action on Monday, services sector union Verdi said, as part of a long-running battle with the U.S. tech giant over better pay and working conditions.
Germany is Amazon’s biggest market after the United States, and Verdi, a leading services sector union, has been organising strikes on and off at Amazon sites in the country since 2013 to protest low pay and poor conditions.
Verdi said it had called the latest strike to demand a rise in pay in line with agreements the union has reached with the broader retail and mail-order industries in Germany.
The union said workers at three Amazon warehouses in the states of Saxony and Hesse would go out on strike on Monday, coinciding with All Saints’ Day, which is a public holiday in some German states.
It would not say how many workers joined the strike on Monday.
Workers at four more locations will go on strike starting in the early hours of Tuesday, and the strikes would last from between 24 hours to up to three days, Verdi said.
“It is unacceptable that a multinational corporation worth billions and (which) makes money hand over fist still refuses to give employees the wage increases that other companies in the industry pay,” Verdi representative Orhan Akman said in a statement.
Verdi said it wants Amazon to recognise the collective agreements in the retail and mail order industry, and to reach an agreement over fair working conditions with Amazon.
Amazon said in a statement that it offers excellent pay, benefits and career opportunities.
The company said it was not seeing any impact on its clients as a result of the strike.
Earlier this year, Amazon said it would guarantee an entry-level wage at its German warehouses of 12 euros ($13.9) an hour from July, which will rise to at least 12.50 euros per hour from autumn 2022.
Amazon’s wages exceed Germany’s current minimum wage of 9.60 euros per hour. Germany’s minimum wage, however, is set rise to 12 euros if an agreement is reached by the next coalition government of the centre-left Social Democrats, the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats.
($1 = 0.8641 euros)
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Goldman Sachs stock forecasts: Goldman has downgraded its recommendation for global stocks for the next 3 months to “below market
A new Goldman Sachs stock forecast has emerged. Analysts at U.S. bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS) have downgraded their recommendation for global stocks for the next three months to “below market” and maintained an “above market” recommendation for cash amid recessionary risks, Bloomberg writes.
“Current stock valuations may not fully reflect the risks involved, and there’s a chance they will drop even further before they bottom out. Also have a disappointing Goldman Sachs economic forecast,” the Goldman strategist team, led by Christian Muller-Glissmann, wrote.
BlackRock, the world’s largest company by assets under management, advises investors to “divest from most stocks.”
Experts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and JPMorgan Asset Management previously laid out similar concerns after the world’s top central banks signaled their firm’s resolve to fight inflation, sending global stocks plunging in the past few days.
Goldman analysts last week sharply lowered their forecast for the value of the U.S. S&P 500 stock index for the end of this year, to 3,600 points from the previously expected 4,300 points. The day before, the indicator finished trading at 3655 points.
Earlier, we reported that European stock markets are trading contradictoryly.
European stock markets are trading contradictory today
During today’s trading the major European stock markets do not show unified dynamics. The composite index of the largest companies in the region, Stoxx Europe 600, decreased by 0.18% to 389.68 points.
European stock markets trading today
British stock index FTSE 100 was down 0.06%, while German DAX gained 0.19% and French CAC 40 gained 0.16%. Italian FTSE MIB rose by 1%. Spanish IBEX 35 decreased by 0.34%.
The British financial company Virgin Money UK PLC was among the leaders of the fall in the components of the Stoxx Europe 600 index, falling by 6.7%.
Shares of the Swiss manufacturer of heating and ventilation systems rose 8.4% as Berenberg’s experts improved their recommendations on the company’s securities and raised their price target.
Concerns about the state of the global economy are growing amid persistently high inflation and aggressive measures by major central banks to curb it, writes CNBC.
The elections in Italy are also in the spotlight. The Italian Democratic Party acknowledged defeat in early parliamentary elections that took place on Sunday, reported the media.
The market is also pressed by continuing geopolitical tensions with the ongoing “referendums” in several regions of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the level of business confidence in the German economy in September fell to 84.3 points from 88.6 points in August, according to a report by the research organization IFO.
Earlier we reported that the yield of British government bonds rose to a 14-year high.
Yield of British government bonds during recession rises to 14-year high
Yield of British government bonds during the recession is rising today amid expectations that the Bank of England will have to raise rates sharply as a major fiscal stimulus announced by the government last week will lead to a further rise in inflation.
The interest rate on U.K. ten-year government bonds rose to 4.246% p.a. during trading, which, according to Refinitiv, is the highest since 2008.
Yield on government bonds
The yield on ten-year bonds was 4.087% compared to 3.827% at market close on September 23; the yield on two-year government bonds rose to 4.418% from 3.911%.
Last Friday, Britain’s Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced a massive tax cut that will affect individuals and businesses and increase the budget deficit this fiscal year by more than 70 billion pounds.
The stimulus measures of the new British government will require an increase in government bond issuance, which is one of the factors pushing down their prices. Rising rates could exacerbate difficulties in the economy by reducing disposable income and leading to a rise in the cost of mortgages.
Earlier we reported that investors in the U.S. are buying a record number of risk insurance contracts amid a sell-off.
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