Rugeley Amazon warehouse one of most dangerous places to work in Britain, claims GMB Union

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Rugeley Amazon warehouse has been called ‘one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain’ according to the GMB.

This comes after Amazon’s health and safety records have reported to have more than 600 incidents since 2015/16 after an investigation from the GMB union.

The figures become known as Shadow Work and Pensions Minister Jack Dromey tells Amazon: ‘Explain yourselves in Parliament’.

The MP for Erdington and Emma Reynolds, MP for Wolverhampton North East visited Amazon’s Rugeley warehouse today (November 9) to quiz bosses about their health and safety record.

Mick Rix, GMB National officer, said: “We really hoped Amazon had learnt its lesson from the report we published in 2014. Sadly, that does not appear to be the case.

“Hundreds of ambulance call outs, pregnant women telling us they are forced to stand for ten hours a day, pick, stow, stretch and bend, pull heavy carts and walk miles – even miscarriages and pregnancy issues at work.

“I’ve never seen figures like this – Amazon Rugeley must be one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain. Amazon should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

“GMB is here to provide a voice for our members and achieve dignity at work.

“Companies like Amazon should be treating staff with respect, not treating them like robots.”

A GMB study earlier this year revealed 440 incidents had been reported but figures from Amazon’s Swansea and Dunfermerline warehouses have now been included and bring the figure above 600.

According to the RIDDOR reports, workers have suffered fractures, head injuries, contusions, collisions with heavy equipment and one report detailed a forklift truck crash caused by a ‘lapse of concentration possibly due to long working hours’.

A woman in late pregnancy complained she was forced to work standing up for her entire shift.

And another woman had a miscarriage as a result of the continuous pressure to work and hit targets.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said:When I found I was pregnant, I asked my manager to be transferred to a different department. I was told I could not be transferred and must continue picking, which involves bending, stretching and moving a heavy cart, and walking miles.

“After a while I told them I could not walk so many miles and I could not pick from low locations.

“I had a meeting with a safety manager and was also told ‘it’s not what you want, it is what we decide’.

“My manager told me that most women are working on picking until their maternity leave.

“I know this is true, because I saw ladies with huge bumps picking.”

A spokeswoman for Amazon said: “Amazon FC and customer service employees across the UK – whether they are full-time, part-time, seasonal, or temporary – earns a minimum of £9.50/hour. [In the London area, it’s £10.50/hour]

“That’s on top of industry-leading benefits and skills training opportunities.

“We take pride in our buildings as safe places to work – according to the UK governments Health and Safety Executive RIDDOR, Amazon has 43% fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies.

“We encourage you to compare our pay, benefits, and working conditions to others.

“Come see for yourself on one of the public tours we offer every day at our centres across the UK uk.amazonfctours.com

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