Amazon warehouses see injuries increase by nearly 50% in run up to Black Friday

Amazon has clashed with one of the UK’s largest unions, GMB, after Freedom of Information requests showed that ambulance callouts for injuries and other health issues at Amazon warehouses had increased by almost 50 per cent in the build-up to Black Friday.

The ecommerce giant hit back at its critics by claiming they were using incomplete information, insisting that most of the emergency service callouts were for pre-existing conditions and not work-related incidents.

“While most people enjoy their Black Friday bargains, Amazon workers are being pushed beyond the limits of human endurance,” GMB national officer Mick Rix.

“Each year, ambulance callouts to Amazon sites rocket as workers desperately race to hit their crushing targets.

“Workers are breaking bones, being left in pain at the end of a shift, and even reportedly being burned by chemicals and getting barred from work for raising Covid complaints.

“It’s time for Amazon to sit down with their workers’ union GMB and make Amazon a great, safe place to work.”

Trade Union Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady added: “Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect at work, but too many Amazon workers face inhuman targets, unsafe working conditions and endless surveillance.

READ MORE: Extinction Rebellion takes aim at Amazon warehouses for Black Friday blockade

“It’s a scandal that in the run-up to Black Friday – a day that rakes in eye-watering profits for the company – ambulance callouts are skyrocketing as staff are pushed to the brink.”

An Amazon spokesman said: “Once again, our critics are using incomplete information that’s without context and designed to intentionally mislead.

“We know we’re not perfect and are continuing to get better every day, but the fact is that Amazon has 40 per cent fewer injuries on average compared to other transportation and warehousing businesses in the UK.

“The vast majority of ambulance callouts to our buildings are related to pre-existing conditions, not work-related incidents, and as a responsible employer we will always call an ambulance if someone requires medical attention.

“Rather than arguing with critics who aren’t interested in facts or progress, we’re going to keep listening to our 55,000 employees, taking their feedback, and working hard to keep investing and improving for the long run.”

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