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AMAZON worker injuries spike in the build up to key shopping dates, a GMB study reveals.
The union’s analysis of ambulance callouts to warehouses belonging to the US-owned online retail giant shows an increase before Prime Day, which takes place today, November’s Black Friday and Christmas.
In total, between 2015 and 2018, ambulance callouts to the transnational’s warehouses topped 600, with a similar number of serious injuries or near misses recorded, the GMB says.
There is evidence of staff being knocked unconscious, breaking bones and suffering breathing problems, the general union says, as well as pregnant workers being forced to stand for hours on end.
To coincide with Prime Day, GMB has launched a digital hub for its hundreds of Amazon members to report safety concerns.
National officer Mick Rix said: “We know Amazon fulfilment centres are dangerous, stressful places to work at the best of times.
“In the run-up to key sales events, the inhumanity of working conditions goes into overdrive. Workers are expected to operate like robots gone haywire, picking and packing at a furious rate to meet unrealistic targets.
“It’s time for the richest company in the world to make sure staff work in a safe environment.”
The findings come as the Unite union continues its own mobile campaign against Amazon, targeting the transnational’s various delivery centres across Britain amid reports of bosses’ union-busting actions. The union is calling on Amazon to allow staff to organise freely.
An Amazon spokesperson claimed that workers are not at risk, saying: “Our critics seem determined to paint a false picture of what it’s like to work for [us]. They repeat the same sensationalised allegations time and time again.”
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