MK Labour members, including parliamentary candidates Charlynne Pullen and Hannah O’Neill, have today joined with the GMB in protesting the unsafe working practices and the ‘inhuman conditions’ at Amazon.
Labour members joined the GMB protest at the Marston Gate Amazon site off the M1 on Black Friday, as part of the nationwide protests at Amazon UK workplaces. The multinational company has refused to work with GMB to address these issues.
Despite Amazon being one of the most successful and highest earning companies in the world, in the last few years has faced near constant allegations regarding the poor treatment of its staff and many accusations of dodgy dealings with its taxes. The GMB feels this has gone too far and has stepped in to support its members and demand Amazon treats its workers humanely.
Charlynne Pullen, Labour’s candidate in Milton Keynes North, said:
“As a GMB member, I’m supporting workers and the GMB who have been thoroughly let down by Amazon as an employer. We need to send Amazon the message that it has to treat its employees with the consideration and respect that they deserve.”
“No-one should have to leave work in an ambulance. Those working for Amazon, in common with all employers, deserve to work in safe conditions. Today we stand with the GMB in calling for Amazon to listen to their workers.”
Hannah O’Neill, Labour’s candidate in Milton Keynes South and Deputy Leader of MK Council, said:
“I am fully supportive of the GMB in their struggle against Amazon to put an end to Victorian working conditions that belong in the 1800’s not in 2018. GMB are right to stand against these abuses and Amazon need to sit down with GMB to ensure staff are treated fairly and in manner that is fit for the 21st century.”
Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:
“The conditions our members at Amazon are working under are frankly inhuman. They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances.
“We’re standing up and saying enough is enough, these are people making Amazon its money. People with kids, homes, bills to pay – they’re not robots.
“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.
“Working people and the communities Amazon operates in deserve better than this. That’s what we’re campaigning for.”
A series of Freedom of Information Requests submitted to ambulance services across Britain by the GMB, show ambulances have been called out 600 times to 14 Amazon warehouses in the last three financial years. In more than half of those cases, patients were taken to hospital.
During the past three calendar years at Amazon’s Rugeley site, the GMB found that ambulances were called 115 times, including three for women due to pregnancy/maternity and three for major trauma. Other disturbing examples include electrocution, unconsciousness, building on fire and chest pains.
At a similar sized supermarket distribution warehouse a few miles away, there were just eight call outs during the same period.