Amazon warehouse workers in the US are going on strike on the first day of the company’s Prime Day sales to protest about working conditions.
The GMB union says it will also be protesting at the company’s UK distribution centres.
Workers at the company’s fulfilment centre in Shakopee, Minnesota, will walk out for six hours during next week’s 48-hour sale period.
They argue that Amazon’s one-day shipping to Prime customers is putting an enormous burden on the workforce which consumers are not aware of.
“Amazon is going to be telling one story about itself, which is they can ship a Kindle to your house in one day, isn’t that wonderful,” Amazon employee William Stolz told Bloomberg.
“We want to take the opportunity to talk about what it takes to make that work happen and put pressure on Amazon to protect us and provide safe, reliable jobs,” he said.
Similar complaints have been made in the UK.
There is currently no recognised union in any of Amazon’s warehouses this side of the Atlantic, but Mick Rix – national officer for the GMB union – told Sky News they would be taking action.
“GMB is staging protests at Amazon sites up and down the country next week,” said Mr Rix.
“The conditions our members work under at Amazon sites are appalling – they are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances.
“Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people – not robots.
“It’s prime time Amazon got round the table with us and did something to make sure the staff they’ve built their empire on are treated fairly.”
Amazon told Sky News it offers a safe, modern environment with good pay and benefits.
“At Amazon we already offer what they are requesting for employees: that’s industry-leading pay, comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.
“These benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company.
“You don’t need to take our word for it. You can come and see what it’s really like to work for Amazon by taking a tour of one of our fulfilment centres.”
Source: SKY NEWS