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100s Of Amazon Ambulance Call Outs

Friday, June 1, 2018

 

GMB AMAZON INVESTIGATION REVEALS 100S OF AMBULANCE CALL OUTS AND WORKERS IN CONSTANT AGONY

Woman in late pregnancy forced to stand for ten hours a day while another says she suffered a miscarriage, study reveals.

An investigation by GMB has revealed the terrible conditions and poor treatment of workers in Amazon warehouses.

Hundreds of ambulance callouts, people in constant agony and heavily pregnant women being forced to work standing, have all come to light following the study.

A series of Freedom of Information Requests submitted to ambulance services across Britain show ambulances have been called out 600 times to 14 Amazon warehouses in the last three financial years. [1]

In more than half of those cases, patients were taken to hospital.

During the past three calendar years at Amazon’s Rugeley site, ambulances were called 115 times, including three for women due to pregnancy/maternity and three for major trauma. [2]

Other disturbing examples include electrocution, unconsciousness, building on fire and chest pains.

At a similar sized supermarket distribution warehouse a few miles away, there were just eight call outs during the same period.

Meanwhile, a survey of GMB members working at Amazon warehouses reveal 87% per cent are in constant or occasional pain due to their workload. [See note 3 for testimony from workers]

The findings will be presented to GMB’s 101st annual congress, which takes place in Brighton from June 4 – 6.

One woman in late pregnancy complained she was forced to work standing up for her entire shift, while a recent meeting of MP’s into the Gig Economy was recently told by an Amazon worker about a woman who had a miscarriage as a result of the continuous pressure to work and hit targets. [4]

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said:

"When I found I was pregnant, I asked my manager to be transferred to a different department. I was told I could not be transferred and must continue picking, which involves bending, stretching and moving a heavy cart, and walking miles.

“After a while I told them I could not walk so many miles and I could not pick from low locations.  I had a meeting with a safety manager and was also told ‘its not what you want, it is what we decide’.

“My manager told me that most women are working on picking until their maternity leave.

“I know this is true, because I saw ladies with huge bumps picking."

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said:

“We really hoped Amazon had learnt its lesson from the report we published in 2014. Sadly that does not appear to be the case.

“Hundreds of ambulance call outs, pregnant women telling us they are forced to stand for ten hours a day, pick, stow, stretch and bend, pull heavy carts and walk miles – even miscarriages and pregnancy issues at work.

"I've never seen figures like this - Amazon Rugeley must be one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain. Amazon should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

"GMB is here to provide a voice for our members and achieve dignity at work.

“Companies like Amazon should be treating staff with respect, not treating them like robots.

ENDS

Contact: Mick Rix on 07971 268343 or GMB Press office 07958 156846 press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to editors:

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/31/amazon-accused-of-treating-uk-warehouse-staff-like-robots

[2] West Midlands Ambulance Trust response to GMB Freedom of Information Act request for details of ambulance callouts to the Amazon Rugeley fulfilment centre and a comparator supermarket distribution site. The two sites are the same size (700,000 square feet) and are situated less than ten miles from each other.

(a) Amazon UK Services Ltd, Towers Business Park, Power Station Road, Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 1LX

(b) Tesco Distribution Centre, Fradley Park, Halifax Ave, Lichfield, WS13 8NF

AMAZON

       
         

Incident Count

 

Calendar year

 

Chief Complaint/Category

2015

2016

2017

Total

Abdo Pain

3

1

1

5

Abdominal Flank Pain Lower

1

1

 

2

Allergy

2

   

2

Back Pain Lower

2

 

1

3

Bleeding

1

   

1

Breathing Problems

10

3

1

14

Building On Fire

 

1

 

1

Chest Pain

13

7

4

24

Chest Pain Cardiac Back Pain pb

4

6

8

18

Collapse Breathing Normal

1

   

1

Convulsions

1

   

1

Diabetic Problems

1

   

1

Electrocution Shock

 

2

 

2

Fall

 

1

1

2

Fire Persons Reported

 

1

 

1

Fitting Now

 

2

1

3

Fitting within the last 12 hours

 

2

 

2

Generally Ill

1

   

1

Headache

   

2

2

Maternity

   

2

2

Medical Minor

2

1

1

4

Pregnancy

1

   

1

Stroke Neurological

 

1

 

1

Trauma

5

4

1

10

Trauma Major

 

1

2

3

Unconscious

1

4

3

8

Grand Total

49

38

28

115

         

TESCO

       
         

Incident Count

Calendar year

 

Chief Complaint/Category

2015

2016

2017

Total

Breathing Problems

1

 

1

2

Collapse Breathing

       

Normal

1

   

1

Diabetic Problems

   

1

1

Fainting

1

   

1

Fitting Now

   

1

1

Medical Minor

   

1

1

Stroke Neurological

 

1

 

1

Grand Total

3

1

4

8

             

[3] Testimony from GMB members working at Amazon:

They treat people like robots

I am pregnant and they put me to stand 10 hours without a chair.

They…me about my idle time and they are telling me to work hard even they know I am pregnant.

I am feeling depressed when I am at work

It is a awful place to work, can't breath or voice an opinion, feel like a trapped animal with lack of support and respect.

Not human they treat you as if you are a robot.

Living in a prison

Basically you are just a mushroom kept in the dark and fed on crap.

Difficult & soul destroying due to the way you are treated and spoken to sometimes.

Too much work to do, too heavy and too less money for this.

Big stress; No respect for us - treat us like slaves/robots. We are threatened for any reason.

Not respect our break time - doesn't exist.

Amazon doesn't respect safety/healthy rules

It is difficult place to work, target orientated and very hard on the body.

My job which is picking I satrt at 7pm and have only on 15 minute break until 2am. I must walk 10-15 miles a night constantly bending as well.

Too much work and too little money. Every day you're stressed to make your target.

Not the best place to work, you are just a number to them!

People are overtired due to constantly being rushed and threatened or being fined if they won't improve their performance. Stress level is high. They ask people why they were late 40 sec!!

Dehumanising you are a number not a person if you have health issues the Amazon way is to pay you off and replace you with temporary workers with less terms and conditions

[4] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/gig-economy-beis

 

 

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