Amazon urged to consider improving UK working conditions

Trade Unions are leading calls for pressure to be put on Amazon to improve the working conditions for its employees in the United Kingdom.

The tech and retail giant owns 17 warehouses in the UK, employing around 27,500 workers in the UK.

Earlier this month a meeting was held at the TUC’s head office, where the GMB union-made presentations to a number of leading companies with stakes in Amazon, in a bid to encourage these companies to put pressure on the tech giant.

Investors were made aware of a number of poor working practices including how workers at Amazon’s giant warehouses worked long shifts under pressure to hit targets for items picked, causing pain and injuries.

Allegations were also made by an Amazon worker, who claimed that there was a lack of action being taken regarding claims of sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions and highlighted an issue of warehouse managers dismissing employees’ concerns and problems.

The union also informed investors that Amazon’s refusal to change has left them exposed as power swings against big companies in favour of worker’s rights. The company is now leaving itself at risk of legal action over the treatment of workers and a backlash against tax avoidance.

Amazon dismissed the allegations as false and unsubstantiated, claiming they offer industry-leading pay, comprehensive benefits and career growth opportunities, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.

This is not the first time Amazon has faced accusations of poor working conditions in warehouses across the UK and US. Workers in America have even taken steps to form a union to tackle the conditions.

Janet Williamson, Chair of the Trade Union Share Owners (TUSO) who organised the meeting said: “Our aim was to introduce investors to working life at Amazon and enable them to hear for the first time from an Amazon worker about the reality of working at Amazon.

“We will keep investors up to date with Amazon’s working practices in the UK and elsewhere and ask investors to raise these points with the company.”