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Amazon Black Friday Protests Across UK

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

GMB STAGES AMAZON BLACK FRIDAY PROTESTS ACROSS THE UK IN ANGER AT 'INHUMAN CONDITIONS'

Hundreds expected to demonstrate at retail giant's warehouses in Rugeley, Swansea, Peterborough, Milton Keynes and Warrington

GMB, the union for Amazon workers, is staging Black Friday protests across the UK in anger at the 'inhuman conditions' people work under at the company's warehouses.

Hundreds are expected to demonstrate at five Amazon warehouses across the country on Friday November 23, 2018, as follows:

  • Amazon Rugeley -  from 5pm at Tower business park, Power Station Rd, Rugeley, WS15 1LX
  • Amazon Milton Keynes -  at 6:30am and 11:30am, at Marston Gate Distribution Centre, Badgers Rise, Ridgmont MK43 0ZA
  • Amazon Warrington  - from  5:30pm at 1 Orion Blvd, Great Sankey, Warrington WA5 3XA
  • Amazon Peterborough - from 5:30am at Unit 1, Kingston Park, Flaxley Rd, Peterborough PE2 9EN
  • Amazon Swansea - at 7:30am and 6pm at Ffordd Amazon, Skewen, Swansea, SA1 8QX

Amazon workers in Italy and Spain take action on the same day.

An investigation by GMB earlier this year revealed ambulances were called out to Amazon warehouses 600 times during the past three financial years. [1]

Separate figures unearthed by GMB revealed a total of 602 reports have been made from Amazon warehouses to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). [2]

Meanwhile GMB members working in Amazon warehouses report working in constant agony, not having time to go to the toilet and a heavily pregnant woman being forced to work standing. [3]

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“The conditions our members at Amazon are working under are frankly inhuman. They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances.

“We're standing up and saying enough is enough, these are people making Amazon its money. People with kids, homes, bills to pay - they're not robots. 

“Jeff Bezos is the richest bloke on the planet; he can afford to sort this out.  You'd think making the workplace safer so people aren't carted out of the warehouse in an ambulance is in everyone’s interest, but Amazon seemingly have no will to get round the table with us as the union representing hundreds of their staff. 

“Working people and the communities Amazon operates in deserve better than this. That's what we're campaigning for."

 ENDS

Contact: Mick Riz on 07971268343 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Or

Rachelle Wilkins for Peterborough on 07966327970

Jeff Beck for Swansea on 079807 53112

Terry Mellor for Warrington on   079704 10905

Richard Owen for Milton Keynes on 07974 179285

Amanda Gearing for Rugeley on 07957 265678

Notes to Editors:

[1] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/amazon-ambulance-callouts

[2] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/600-amazon-incidents

[3] Testimony from GMB members:

“The methods employed by Amazon to have total mind and body control over their associates … [it] reminds me of days about which I have read in the Great Depression where men would stand at the factory gate in the hope of being selected for a day’s labour.”

“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: ‘It’s 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.”

 “I am pregnant and they put me to stand 10 hours without a chair … They are telling me to work hard even they know I am pregnant. I am feeling depressed when I am at work.”

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

“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.”

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