Today will see Amazon workers staging protests outside five of the online retail giant’s UK fulfillment centers, to air out the “inhumane conditions” they’ve long been suffering.
Sources from the GMB Union said protests in Rugeley, Milton Keynes, Warrington, Peterborough and Swansea are brewing amid shoppers snapping up Black Friday deals.
The labor union said Amazon employees have been “knocked unconscious” and suffered broken bones while at work.
What’s more, ambulances have been called to Amazon warehouses 600 times in the past three years.
“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.” – Tim Roache, General Secretary, GMB
The demonstration coincides with Amazon workers’ strike in Spain, Poland, Italy and Germany.
Amazon denies Black Friday protests
Amazon has released an official statement about the matter, denying reports of a massive protest and stressing that its European Fulfillment Network remains fully operational.
‘We are a fair and responsible employer. We believe in continuous improvement across our network and maintain an open and direct dialogue with our associates. These are good jobs with highly competitive pay, full benefits, and innovative training programs like Career Choice that pre-pays 95% of tuition for associates. In the UK, as an example, we recently increased the Amazon wage to start from £9.50 an hour and in the London area from £10.50 an hour.” – Amazon.com
The statement explained moreover that the ambulance visits at its fulfillment centers concerned “personal health events and are not work-related.”
Why Amazon is constantly hounded by labor issues remains a mystery. You can share your thoughts on this matter in the comments below or over in our Facebook Group.