Christmas is Coming and Amazon Employees are Paying for it

Christmas is Coming and Amazon Employees are Paying for it

Christmas is around the corner and whilst we avoid the ruthless last minute shoppers by choosing the less confrontational option of online shopping elsewhere an Amazon worker is walking their eight mile of their 10 hour night shift. Despite sitting back stretching and feeling satisfied that our Christmas preparations were surprisingly easy an Amazon employee is being timed for their toilet breaks and haunted by a monotonous beep that indicates that they have made an error or are going too slow.
An undercover reporter got a job as a picker for Amazon and found that they were walking up to eleven miles a shift and were made to collect an order every 33 seconds and if they made a mistake or were too slow they could be disciplined.
The 23-year-old graduate worked for the company and revealed the truth on BBC’s Panorama by doing some secret filming on his shift.
Adam was provided with a handset which told him what to collect and he had to do this within a matter of seconds aided by a visible countdown if he made a mistake the scanner would beep.
He was so dehumanised he told the Huffington Post
“We are machines we are robots we plug our scanner in we’re holding it but we might as well be plugging it into ourselves.”
“We don’t think for ourselves maybe they don’t trust us to think for ourselves as human beings I don’t know.”
Richard Coulthard Head of the Stress at Work Department at Michael Lewin Solicitors said: “ I find the comments from Amazon interesting in response to the footage by the BBC. Amazon state that the health of their employers is their number one priority and that they have checked out the ‘legality’ of the night shift.
‘I would question whether any of the ‘powers that be’ at Amazon have ever tried to walk in excess of 10 miles every day during the middle of the night. Just because a job is not intellectually demanding does not mean that it isn’t stressful and the comments made by Amazon clearly suggest a mistaken belief regarding the cause of stress and a certain degree of elitism in the sense that the upper management of Amazon appear to be ‘looking down their noses’ at those people working the warehouses.’
‘Unfortunately this type of ignorance is why stress at work is such a major problem in England and Wales. Current estimates place the costs of stress at work to the UK economy at in excess of £5 billion per year.’
Richard went on to say that the fact that Amazon have checked whether their contracts are legal does not absolve them from civil action. ‘An employer has a duty to safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees. The HSE have published very clear guidance regarding mechanisms which ought to be put in place to prevent stress in the workplace. It is abundantly clear that the cause of stress can be very subjective and just because a working practice falls within the parameters of the law does not mean that it will not cause an individual to suffer with stress related illness’.

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