Black Friday blues: GMB highlights ‘frankly inhuman’ Amazon warehouses
The GMB union says that it will stage Black Friday protests against the 'inhuman conditions' people work under at Amazon UK warehouses. The e-commerce giant’s workers in Italy and Spain will strike for 24 hours on the same day.
“The conditions our members at Amazon are working under are frankly inhuman. They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances. We're standing up and saying enough is enough, these are people making Amazon its money. People with kids, homes, bills to pay - they're not robots,” says Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary.
“Jeff Bezos is the richest bloke on the planet; he can afford to sort this out. You'd think making the workplace safer so people aren't carted out of the warehouse in an ambulance is in everyone’s interest, but Amazon seemingly have no will to get round the table with us as the union representing hundreds of their staff. Working people and the communities Amazon operates in deserve better than this. That's what we're campaigning for."
The protests will take place at warehouses in Rugeley, Swansea, Peterborough, Milton Keynes and Warrington. An Amazon spokesperson told RTIH that the company has created in the UK more than 25,000 good jobs with a minimum of £9.50/hour and in the London area, £10.50/hour on top of industry-leading benefits and skills training opportunities.
“All of our sites are safe places to work and reports to the contrary are simply wrong. According to the UK Government’s Health and Safety Executive, Amazon has over 40% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies in the UK,” they added. “We encourage everyone to compare our pay, benefits, and working conditions to others and come see for yourself on one of the public tours we offer every day at our centres across the UK uk.amazonfctours.com.”
The European fulfilment network, meanwhile, is fully operational. “We continue to focus on delivering for our customers. Any reports to the contrary are simply wrong.”