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Amazon West Midlands warehouses 'breeding grounds for coronavirus

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09 Apr 2020
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Amazon’s giant West Midlands warehouses are ‘breeding grounds for Coronavirus’ says GMB Union. 

The online retail giant has come under fire today from GMB Union – who exposed the Amazon’s failure to protect workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Workers say they are being made to clock in and out at the same time as hundreds of others, while packed company buses ferry workers back and forth. 

GMB members report being made to pack and pick items in cramped aisles, with no hand sanitiser, gloves or masks available.  Meanwhile communal water fountains are still in use despite the obvious risk of spreading the deadly virus. 

Many workers say no risk assessments have been completed. 

Amazon has offered an extra £2 per hour for every hour worked. While the extra money is welcome, staff are worried it will act as an incentive for people who have COVID-19 symptoms to come to work instead of calling in sick. 

Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organiser, said: 

“Amazon is famous around the world for its brutal workplace culture and reckless disregard for its workers safety. 

“It’s disappointing but not surprising that they continue to risk their workers’ lives for profit.  

“Herding workers together like cattle is undermining the national lockdown and putting hundreds of working families at risk. The NHS is stretched to its limit and Amazon’s failure to act is turning its warehouses into a breeding ground for Coronavirus. 

“GMB is dedicated to protecting workers, and Amazon need to step up immediately. We need risk assessments, PPE for the workers and full pay for vulnerable workers for 12 weeks. Social distancing needs to be enforced right away to control the spread. 

“It just goes to show that companies will always protect profits first. Only when you join with other workers will you get power and protection. That’s why we’ve had a surge in new people joining from Amazon this month.” 

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