ONLINE retail multinational Amazon was accused today of treating workers “like robots” as it announced profits of £1.15 billion.
The firm reported revenues of £36.7bn in a single quarter while workers are subjected to “slave labour” conditions.
General union GMB said the US-owned company subjected its employees to “hellish” conditions in a workplace culture akin to prison.
One former employee said workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Staffordshire had to resort to urinating in bottles because the toilets were too far away.
He said workers took the “toilet bottle” option at the depot in Rugeley because they feared being sacked if they took too long visiting the loos. Delivery drivers did the same.
GMB national officer Mick Rix said: “As Amazon post these bumper results, it’s about time we removed the packaging to reveal the way its workers say they’re being treated every day.
“This is a company that makes fantastical sums of money, so why do its workers report ‘hellish’ working conditions? Why are they ending up urinating into plastic bottles? It’s inhuman, degrading and demeaning.
“Amazon can more than afford to provide decent terms and conditions for their workers. Why are they being sold down the river?
“GMB is here to provide a voice for our members. Companies like Amazon should be treating staff with respect, not treating them like robots.”
In response to its bumper profits, Amazon founder and boss Jeff Bezos said: “A huge thank you to all our Amazon Web Service (AWS) customers, and you can be sure we’ll keep working hard for you.”
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