If you are an employee of AWS in Germany, please go to Amazon's internal WIKI-webpage to get in touch with the AWS Works Council Germany. Thank you!
This website is for information-only, from the early days of our works council initiative.
We (the A-Team) are experienced Amazonians and have implemented this initiative from the first email in mid-March 2023, in a professional manner and as quickly as legally possible. On 22 June 2023, we (the A-Team), won 87% of the works council seats because our 78 credible candidates from three legal entities (Infrastructure/Sales/Development Centre) were simply the best choice to represent the entire AWS-DE workforce in its diversity to the AWS management.
In the constituent meeting on 7th July 2023, the 23 members of the works council elected chair and deputy chairperson.
By now, we have successfully been building a very constructive and data-driven AWS works council, and continue to negotiate in a goal-oriented and pragmatic way the implementation of rules and mechanisms, that will improve working conditions for all AWS-DE employees. More details on our goals can be found here.
Why have an AWS works council?
Seattle-Management decisions at peak times of the Corona pandemic, have led to massive wage reductions and job cuts at Amazon and AWS today.
Therefore, we want to establish a smart and data-driven AWS Works Council, which is protected by law to effectively represent the interests of all AWS-DE-employees (Infrastructure/ Sales/ Development Center) vis-a-vis the management.
The Amazon leadership principle "Strive to be Earth's Best Employer" shall be our guiding principle - conceivable goals may be found here.
The enormous number of positive reactions to our first AWS works council initiative email was absolutely overwhelming!
The election for the AWS works council Germany will take place on June 22nd, 2023 in the locations Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and as a postal vote for all other locations and virtual employees.
More details about the locations and opening hours can be found in the "Election Notice" (Wahlausschreiben) on AWS' internal Wiki (just search for "AWS Election Board").
Works council tasks
AWS should be keen to facilitate the compatibility of family and career. Therefore, employees should be able to decide for themselves whether/ how often they want to work in the office or prefer to work from home.
Laws must be complied with, even if it is sometimes inconvenient (GDPR, Dismissal Protection Act, equal pay principle, etc.).
In future, Amazonians should be given co-determination and grandfathering rights for important changes in their personal salary structure (fixed salary, RSUs, bonuses, SPIFs, etc.).
Part-time parents, Amazonians without German language skills, and older employees need special protection of their interests - especially with regards to RSU allocations and payouts.
Works council rights
The employer must disclose the following to the works council, among other things:
- Personal Improvement Plans (PIP)/coaching plans
- Dismissals and transfers
- Status of a complaint
- Change of legal entity and place of operation
The employer must consult the works council and deal with its proposals - e.g. the proposal to let employees choose between RSUs and an equivalent cash bonus.
The employer must discuss important matters together with the works council before a decision is made.
The employer must consult with the AWS works council to hire, layoff, and transfer employees. Employees can ask the works council for help and guidance in case of disciplinary actions.
Without the consent of the works council, the employer may not act. In case of a dispute, an external arbitration board or the labor court decides.
Works council duties
Duty of confidentiality
The works council is obligated to maintain secrecy with regards to third parties, especially with regards to:
- Company and business secrets
- personnel matters
- employee complaints
Works council members are obligated to take part in training courses on fundamental topics of works council work. The costs will be covered by the employer.
Works council members are obliged to cooperate with the employer in a friendly and trusting manner. They are prohibited from engaging in partisan politics and may not call for strikes.
1. Hearing and attempt to reach an agreement
First of all, the AWS works council would try to reach an amicable solution with you, your manager and HR. If a mutually agreeable solution is not possible, the works council would advise you on how to achieve your interests in other ways.
2. Decisions could be made against AWS management and HR
The times when AWS people managers/ HR could unilaterally decide against you, would finally come to an end with the installment of an AWS works council. As a last resort, an AWS works council would have the right to call an external arbitration board or to enforce an employee-friendly solution with the help of the labor court - even against the interests of AWS management and HR.
The "A-Team": the drivers of this initiative
We are a group of experienced Amazonians, and until recently, none of us had ever imagined to take this step. What has made us reconsider are questionable management decisions on global, European and local level – which have recently led to massive salary cuts and mass layoffs at Amazon and AWS. It really should have been clear to every responsible manager from the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), that it would be impossible to sustain the high Amazon growth rates from peak times of the Corona pandemic.
The feedback from AWS-colleagues to this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive! Only an AWS works council is legally able to motivate the AWS management/ HR to make necessary improvements in the interest of all Amazonians.
AWS Works Council Initiative Germany
c/o Amazon Web Services (AWS)
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