Demonstrations began yesterday (15 July 2019) and are taking place to coincide with Amazon Prime Day – 48 hours in which Amazon Prime members are eligible for discounts.
GMB union, which represents Amazon workers, staged protests at sites in Rugeley, Swansea, Peterborough, Warrington, Coventry, Doncaster and Milton Keynes.
“The conditions our members work under at Amazon sites across the UK are appalling,” Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, explained.
“The Rugeley site in particular is probably one of the most unsafe places to work in Britain – workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances. We have various reports of pregnant women workers being targeted for dismissal.”
GMB research has uncovered more than 600 reports to the Health and Safety Executive from UK Amazon warehouses since 2015/16 and 115 ambulance call-outs to the Rugeley site over just three years.
Members have told the union they are forced to urinate into bottles because they do not have time for toilet breaks and pregnant workers stand on their feet for hours, with some suffering miscarriages whilst at work.
In one shocking incident, an ambulance was not called for a female worker who had endured a miscarriage at work and she was forced to travel home on the bus in blood-stained clothes.
“Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people – not robots. It’s time for him to show empathy with the very people that have helped to contribute to his vast and increasing personal fortune,” Mick Rix said.