Richard Leonard Attacks Amazon Over Horrendous Working Conditions
Amazon has come under fire after reports that some Amazon staff members were forced to "pee in bottles" to avoid being penalised for taking bathroom breaks.
In response to a survey of Amazon workers, one anonymous employee stated that “targets had "increased dramatically”, and "I do not drink water because I do not have time to go to the toilet."
Another said: "The target grows every year. I do not have two more legs yet to make the 100% to pick, where you actually need to run and go to the toilet just during the break. Packing 120 products per hour is terribly heavy.
"You have to pack two products per minute. You do not have time to drink water because you go to the toilet after every evening sends messages to the scanner with the target and tells you to hurry.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: "Amazon has a terrible record on workers' rights and fair pay and conditions. People will be rightly outraged at the thought of workers not having time to take proper bathroom breaks. The digital economy should not be built on Victorian working conditions.
“The SNP government should be doing everything it can to ensure fair labour conditions – instead ministers have channelled millions of pounds of taxpayer cash to a company with a horrendous record on workers’ rights and tax avoidance.
"This is our money - we should be laying down the rules. That's why Labour would use the money the government spends on public contracts and regional selective assistance to drive up standards.”
Amazon has denied the allegations, stating that: "Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people across the UK with competitive pay and benefits from day one. We have not been provided with confirmation that the people who completed the survey worked at Amazon and we don't recognize these allegations as an accurate portrayal of activities in our buildings.”
Amazon has previously come under fire for poor working conditions in its storage and distribution centres, with reports of workers being required to work up to 55 hours a week, and ambulances being to called to warehouses during especially busy periods. The GMB Trade Union has warned that Amazon staff have suffered from “mental and physical illnesses” due to the intensive “regimes” they are required to work under.