GM Thought of the Week – Amazon Prime Day health and safety complaints
Amazon Prime Day is often seen as the baby sister of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, providing multiple discounts across a vast number of products. I, for one, took advantage of the deals which helped contribute to the recorded 100 million products sold, breaking the Amazon Prime Day records.
However, I am not writing this thought piece to focus on the benefits of a good deal but actually the work that goes on behind the scenes to make these days a reality.
It was reported that health and safety complaints from Amazon UK workers soared by 209% according to the workplace digital campaigning platform Organise.
Usman Mohammed (lead campaigner at Organise) quoted ‘The increased pace and increased targets means three times the packing for some people – even for slight workplace injustices, the rise in pain is exponential’. As a result, Organise have started a petition to Doug Gurr (UK manager of Amazon) asking for them to drop all targets by 15% otherwise they are making it ‘genuinely impossible’ to hit targets.
Other complaints went on to state that the increased targets mean ‘we have to break rules about health and safety to meet them’.
It is not only the UK that has been effected, Spanish unions have also called three day strikes over complaints that the company have reduced workers’ rights.
Amazon are not taking the criticisms lying down and have spoken out to say that the allegations are inaccurate and that seasonal jobs have been created in the UK to meet customer demands around Prime Day. In retaliation to Organise they added that “Organise do not appear to carry out any checks to confirm whether or when respondents worked at the companies being surveyed, and there is no way for Organise to check if their responses reflect current or previous ways of working.”
So whilst there may be some element of uncertainty surrounding the issue, are we as consumers also partly at fault? Is it because we are increasingly shopping around for deals and expect fast delivery as a matter of course that we are putting unfair pressure on retailers to deliver?
Lauren Coombs, Director of Client Services