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Amazon workers feel exploited

Amazon is one of the most successful companies in the world. But a report written by Fiona Onasanya, who is the Labour MP for Peterborough, states that despite this it appears to be failing the staff who keep the operation running smoothly on a day to day basis, and who are the driving force behind the world’s technological revolution.

There appears to have been several allegations made by Amazon warehouse staff who state they are afraid to take time off sick.  

She continues to say that there have been 600 ambulance calls made to Amazon warehouses in the United Kingdom over the last three years. A member’s survey conducted by GMB reports, that one worker has described employment there as akin to ‘living in prison’. With strict targets apparently imposed on staff mean that 70% of staff feel they are given disciplinary points unfairly, while 89% believe they are being exploited. 

Moreover, there have been reports of an employee in late pregnancy being forced to stand for 10 hours a day, and ambulance calls due to “electric shocks” and “major trauma”. These extensive reports into working practices at Amazon are clearly alarming and suggest that while companies like Amazon reap the financial rewards of technological progress, they appear to be neglecting the health and safety of their workforce.

A letter has been written by Fiona to the prime minister ‘urging her to take a stand and ensure further regulation is put into place to see that Amazon’s working conditions are reasonable and humane. What we need is a government that actively intervenes in these workplace disputes and can address the problems that come with technological change and the unashamed desire to save money at the expense of the wellbeing of the workforce’.

Fiona believes that the ‘implementing Labour’s 20 point plan for security and equality at work would be a welcome start. By empowering trade unions and enforcing regulation to ensure safe and healthy environments, we can take a stand against companies like Amazon, whose workforce consistently feels exploited and afraid. When Sports Direct was castigated by MP’s over its treatment of staff, a mixture of political and public pressure forced it to act. But without that political will, public pressure is not enough: companies will run amok and continue with their deplorable work practices’. 

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