Amazon “is making UK staff physically and mentally ill”

GMB union rep says company expects people to work like robots

Amazon staff in the UK are being made physically and mentally ill under the strain of expectations to be an “above-average Amazon robot”, a union claims.

GMB, which represents some of the 7,000 staff working for the company in the UK, said employees were suffering from stress and anxiety as well as physical problems.

“We’re seeing this specifically because of the regimes they work under,” said GMB’s lead officer for Amazon Elly Baker.

She added: “It’s hard, physical work, but the constant stress of being monitored and never being able to drop below a certain level of performance is harsh.

“You can’t be a normal person. You have to be an above-average Amazon robot all the time.”

The allegations follow the publication of a New York Times article featuring testimony from more than 100 current and former Amazon employees describing an arduous environment where staff were pushed to their limits to increase productivity at the firm.

It claims employees were required to reply to emails after midnight and were encouraged to use the company’s Anytime Feedback Tool to secretly rate their colleagues.

A woman battling breast cancer was put on a “performance improvement plan” while another was forced to attend a business trip the day after a miscarriage.

Jeff Bezos hits back

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, who is worth $49.5bn, hit back after the article’s publication.

He denied the company had an abusive corporate culture and asked employees to report concerns.

“The [New York Times] article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day. But if you know of any stories like those reported, I want you to escalate to HR.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Amazon is a truly awful place to work, its all about do everything now for as little as possible. That's why they're so cheap! I do use them occasionally but I would be happy to see them close down, the worst example of buying your way into a market by destroying everyone else I can think of.

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  • Anonymous

    He could give his staff a bonus of $250,000 each and still be a billionaire.

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