GMB, the union for Amazon employees in the UK, today led a rally outside Manchester United’s Old Trafford football ground to protest employees being “treated like robots.”
The stadium was the site of Amazon and the Department for International Trade the first ever Amazon Marketplace New Seller event inside.
The protest comes after a former employee claimed workers at a giant Amazon warehouse in Staffordshire have resorted to using the bathroom in bottles because the toilets are too far away and they do not have time to reach them during too-short breaks. GMB members working at Amazon have reported bosses have put them under so much pressure they are scared to go to the toilet.
Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said, “We want to know why workers report ‘hellish’ working conditions so pressured they have to urinate into plastic bottles? GMB, along with our sister unions from Europe, are here to give a voice to our members. Companies like Amazon should be treating staff with respect, not treating them like robots.”
Delivery drivers for Amazon have told how they are forced to deliver 200 parcels a day with no time for toilet breaks – also forcing them to urinate into plastic bottles.
Earlier this year Amazon delivery firm UK Express recently made a 100% settlement out of court to drivers GMB claimed were falsely self-employed. Some drivers received almost £20,000 in back pay.
Afzal Khan, MP for Manchester Gorton and GMB member, said, “I am shocked and appalled by the stories of ‘prison-like’ working conditions in Amazon warehouses across the UK. Given the amount of profit Amazon makes, I sincerely hope that their executives will work with GMB union to bring about working conditions that treat all Amazon employees with dignity and respect.”
UNI supported Tuesday’s rally, and has been standing with Amazon workers throughout the world who want to gain a voice on the job.
Smahan Jabiri-Egan, Communications Coordinator, UNI Europa
Phone: +32 22345656