Amazon drivers and warehouse staff in the UK have called on the online retail giant to stop forcing them to work at an “inhumane pace”.
A open letter signed by 135 workers pleads with the company to ‘eliminate unfair targets’ and end ‘constant surveillance’.
As Prime Day pushed them harder than ever, they said, “Working in an Amazon warehouse today is so stressful. Even the tools we use, like scanners, follow us.
“We’re always worried about how many seconds we have left to pick up a package. We can’t even see all the targets you’re tracking – and that keeps us from knowing if our jobs are ever safe. We’re trying to track , but it wears people out.
Martha Dark, director of the Foxglove legal group, which helps Amazon staff, said: “Everyone loves a sale, but Prime Day is one of the most dangerous times of the year for Amazon staff. .
“Workers are fed up with this inhuman pace. It’s not worth risking people’s lives for cheap toasters and TVs.
Amazon drivers and warehouse staff in the UK have called on the online retail giant to stop forcing them to work at an ‘inhumane pace’
It was reported last year that ambulances had been called nearly 1,000 times to the company’s ‘distribution centres’ since 2018 – including 178 calls to its site in Tilbury, Essex (pictured)
Amazon could run out of warehouse staff to hire in the US by 2024
Amazon could run out of new people to hire by 2024, as the company burns through its entire warehouse workforce each year through grueling shifts, a leaked internal document reveals.
The document, first reported by Recode, includes the words: “If we continue business as usual, Amazon will exhaust the supply of labor available on the US network by 2024.”
The document was published internally in 2021.
According to Recode, an Amazon spokesperson did not refute its authenticity.
With nine out of ten UK shoppers using Amazon, the company’s UK sales have grown from £3bn to almost £27bn in a decade.
It currently employs around 33,000 people in its warehouse and logistics staff.
The pandemic has only added to the surge in online shopping, with more than half (55%) of shoppers saying Amazon has proven essential during lockdowns in 2020.
But staff explained how the pressure put on them to achieve such goals turned them into ‘slaves’ and robots.
It was reported last year that ambulances had been called nearly 1,000 times since 2018 to the company’s “distribution centres” – including 178 calls to its site in Tilbury, Essex.
An Amazon employee who works at Amazon’s Midlands site has told how he was “unfairly” disciplined for a recurring health issue.
They claimed that they should continue to come to work while sick because even one day off would prolong the sanction and lead to more disciplinary problems.
Speaking to the Daily Mail on condition of anonymity, they said: ‘It made me feel useless to talk about my illness in the first place as it only made the situation worse.’
“I felt like a robot, a slave, with no choice but to come to work just to survive.
In 2020, there were 5.9 serious injuries per 100 full-time Amazon warehouse workers, nearly double the rate of serious injuries recorded in non-Amazon warehouses.
“The company needs to be fairer to its people and treat its employees with respect, not just like numbers, if it ever wants to change its image in the public eye.”
Last week it was announced that the company was being investigated by the UK’s competition watchdog over practices that could have led to millions being offered a worse deal. of UK customers.
Officials are looking into allegations that the company favors its own sellers over independent rivals, while investigating whether it uses sales data it collects from thousands of UK businesses using the marketplace to make its own more competitive offers.
The Competition and Markets Authority said it was essential that the company operated in a fair market.
Ms Dark said: “Amazon needs to fix this. They must stop the surveillance, weed out unfair targets, and respect the right of workers to form a union now.
As Prime Day pushed them harder than ever, they said, “Working in an Amazon warehouse today is so stressful. Even the tools we use, like scanners, follow us’
An Amazon spokesperson said: ‘We pride ourselves on the safe and modern work environments our teams work in and on Prime Day, and indeed every day of the year, the safety of our employees is our number one priority. a.
“In fact, Amazon has 40% fewer injuries on average compared to other UK transport and warehousing companies.
“Like most companies, we have a system that recognizes good performance and also encourages coaching to help employees improve if they fall short of their performance targets.”
“Performance metrics are regularly assessed and built on benchmarks based on employees’ actual attainable performance history.
“We look at the performance that associates naturally establish, then set the benchmarks from there with a focus on safety.”