Amazon has “wasted millions” on advertising instead of addressing its “unsafe” working conditions, according to the GMB workers union.
The GMB has accused the ecommerce giant of wasting money on its recent transparency campaign which invites customers to take a guided tour of its facilities come and see “what it’s really like in an Amazon fulfilment centre”.
This is widely seen as a response to repeated reports of dangerous working conditions in its warehouses, which the GMB alleges include “hundreds of ambulance callouts, workers suffering electric shocks, heart attacks and even miscarriages.”
Amazon says that tens of thousands of people have now taken a tour of its fulfilment centres since the campaign launched.
Charged was also invited on one of these tours, and you can read about our experience here.
Mick Rix, the GMB’s national officer, has demanded that Amazon use its resources to address staff safety concerns instead of “waste” money on its tour initiative.
“Our investigations prove Amazon is an incredibly dangerous place to work,” he said.
“So rather than waste millions on flash advertising campaigns, why don’t Amazon just get round the table with us so we can work together and make sure their staff stay safe and healthy at the end of their shift?”
An Amazon spokesman said: “We’re proud to show the faces and stories of the employees who fulfil customer orders in homes across the UK.
“But don’t take our word for it, come see for yourself – we’re proud of our employees and would love for anyone to come tour our sites.”
In July the GMB reported that Amazon workers were forced to use “plastic bottles to urinate in instead of going to the toilet” while protests were staged outside of the its warehouses around the country.
In response an Amazon spokesperson said that unions were “conjuring misinformation to work in their favour” while strongly denying all of its claims.
“Events like Prime Day have become an opportunity for our critics, including unions, to raise awareness for their cause, in this case, increased membership dues,” they said.
“These groups are conjuring misinformation to work in their favour, when in fact we already offer the things they purport to be their cause – industry-leading pay, benefits, and a safe workplace for our employees.
“We have plenty of toilets and employees can take a bathroom break whenever they choose.”