Amazon warehouse workers in the UK have complained that the company has become a “living hell to work for” as they face a surge in demand.
Amazon’s warehouses have remained open and workers have been told to continue to work to provide essential goods to those in lockdown.
However numerous anonymous sources have complained that swathes of non-essential orders were being fulfilled and workers are being put at unnecessary risk.
One anonymous worker told Mirror Money that there has been a “large number of people sick” in his warehouse, and that the company had become a “living hell to work for”.
“We are selling the same usual stuff we would do normally with a large increase in things like garden equipment”, they said, despite Amazon stating it is keeping its warehouses open to deliver essential goods.
The online retailer has reportedly imposed measure to keep staff safe inside the warehouse like telling staff to stand one metre apart, however the source states this is near impossible to adhere to while working.
Another employee wrote in The Telegraph that “you wouldn’t know anything had changed”, and staff members were mingling together as usual.
“Amazon hadn’t provided drivers with anything,” they wrote.
“There were no precautions in place. Some people had decided to wear gloves, but there was nothing people could use if they didn’t have their own. I didn’t see any face masks or anything of the sort.
“I’d almost say it feels like Amazon is taking advantage of a situation… As delivery drivers, we’re called “key workers” – classed alongside nurses, doctors, carers – but in my mind, when we’re spending a lot of our time delivering un-essential, goods, we’re not doing anything of value.”
In response Amazon said: “Since the early days of this situation, we have worked closely with local authorities to proactively respond, ensuring we continue to serve customers while taking care of our people and delivery partners. We implemented proactive measures at all of our facilities to protect our people, including increased cleaning, and regular reminders and process changes to maintain social distance, including between drivers and customers when making deliveries.
“As demand continues to increase, we are working to ensure we can continue to deliver to the most impacted customers while keeping our people safe. Many of these customers have no other way to get priority items and we want to be sure that we have the right resources in place to deliver on their needs. We are prioritising the intake and dispatch of items most needed by our customers right now. These are items such as food, health and personal care products, books and items needed to work from home.”