Jeremy Corbyn has used his party manifesto to name and shame Amazon, Uber, Asda and Sports Direct for having “exploited, ripped off and dehumanised workers”.
The Labour Party leader laid out what he called plans for the biggest expansion in workers’ rights in modern British history, taking aim at the UK’s “worst employers”.
“We’ll call time on insecure and unsafe work that leaves people without the rights and dignity they deserve,” Corbyn said.
Amazon, which employs 30,000 staff in the UK across 16 warehouses was a key target of the manifesto, which took aim at the retailer’s “appalling” health and safety record, low pay and overbearing workloads.
Corbyn referred to reports, repeatedly denied by Amazon, that workers were forced to urinate into plastic bottles in order to meet performance targets.
He also claimed that Amazon workers in Scotland were forced to sleep in tents in sub zero conditions because they could not afford travel costs to and from the location.
Amazon denied these claims stating: “Despite sharing the facts with the Labour party on numerous occasions, they have chosen to ignore them.
“The truth is that Amazon already offers industry-leading pay, starting at £9.50 and £10.50 per hour depending on location, comprehensive benefits, as well as a safe, modern work environment.”
“We are incredibly proud of the safe environment that we provide all our employees. We benchmark Health & Safety Executive data and we have over 40 per cent fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing businesses in the UK”.
Amazon was not the only retailer to draw the ire of the Labour party which also accused Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct of “exploitative employment practices”, and Asda of forcing employees to sign contracts stating they have to work weekends and bank holidays and will no longer be paid for breaks.
Asda said it “entirely rejected” these allegations adding that it had “worked to give a pay increase to our retail colleagues in return for a degree of flexibility that is standard in our industry and ensures fairness for all our colleagues”.
Sports Direct said it did not wish to comment directly.