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Amazon health & safety lies exposed by GMB at Labour conference

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23 Sep 2019
Press Office

Press Office

Amazon's 'lies' about it's shocking health and safety record have been exposed by a GMB investigation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says ‘it does not recognise’ Amazon’s claims about conditions in its warehouses – which have seen 100s of ambulance call outs.

The exposé comes as GMB calls out Amazon in a motion to Labour Conference in Brighton today.

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In response to GMB Union's previous investigations into Amazon's working practices - which revealed 100s of ambulance call outs to Amazon warehouses - the company claims on its website:

"According to the UK governments Health and Safety Executive RIDDOR, Amazon has 43% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies in the UK."

However, after the GMB wrote to the HSE to query this, the HSE has replied to say that it 'does not recognise' the company's claim.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“Amazon could get round the table, work with GMB - who represents hundreds of their workers - and make changes to keep their employees safe. 

The bottom line is, conditions at Amazon sites are appalling. The reports we get are horrific and Amazon needs to sort it out ASAP.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary

“Instead, they appear willing to tell barefaced lies to paper over reality and avoid their responsibilities. 

“It’s an obvious whopper - it shows the contempt they hold the UK taxpayer and their customers in in that they thought they wouldn’t get caught. 

“The bottom line is, conditions at Amazon sites are appalling. The reports we get are horrific and Amazon needs to sort it out ASAP.”

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Laura Pidcock, Shadow Minister for Labour, said:

“Amazon should be ashamed of the way it has misrepresented its warehouse workers’ need for emergency treatment.

Labour will put power in the hands of workers by establishing a Workers’ Protection Agency that, unlike the current system, will actually enforce rights, standards and protections – so that every job is a good job.

Laura Pidcock, Shadow Minister for Labour

“These dangerous conditions are a scandal. That we have to demand Amazon urgently ensures its workers are properly protected from injury shows just how low the bar is with this corporate giant.

“Labour will put power in the hands of workers by establishing a Workers’ Protection Agency that, unlike the current system, will actually enforce rights, standards and protections – so that every job is a good job. We will also make it easier for trade unions to enter workplaces to represent their members, to check their safety and hear their concerns.”

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Jack Dromey, Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions, said:

“Amazon lied to cover up a shameful record of putting its workers at risk.

“The company should apologise and agree to an independent health and safety audit together with GMB so that no more workers risk life or limb working for Amazon.”

 
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