GMB holds mass rally at Old Trafford to protest at Amazon “slave labour”

GMB members are today holding a mass rally in Manchester in anger at how Amazon is treating its workers.

The protest, which is organised with international trade union body UniGlobal, takes place outside Old Trafford at 11.15am while Amazon and the Department for International Trade host the first ever Amazon Marketplace New seller event inside.

It comes after a former employee claimed workers at a giant Amazon warehouse in Staffordshire have resorted to peeing in bottles because the toilets are too far away,

Undercover investigator James Bloodworth reported workers took the ‘toilet bottle’ option at the huge depot in Rugeley, Staffordshire because they feared losing their job if they took too long visiting the toilet. He has likened the culture to a ‘prison’.

GMB members working at Amazon have described conditions as ‘slave labour’ – they have reported bosses have put them under so much pressure they are scared to go to the toilet.

Meanwhile delivery drivers for Amazon have told how they are forced to deliver 200 parcels a day with no time for toilet breaks – forcing them to urinate into plastic bottles.

Earlier this year Amazon delivery firm UK Express recently made a 100% settlement out of court to drivers GMB claimed were falsely self-employed. Some drivers received almost £20,000 in back pay.

GMB national officer Mick Rix said: “Amazon execs are coming to Manchester celebrating their latest money making scheme. We think it’s a good time to bring them a special delivery – a reminder about the way Amazon workers say they’re being treated every day.

“We want to know why they report “hellish” working conditions so pressured they have to urinate into plastic bottles? GMB, along with our sister unions from Europe, are here to give a voice to our members. Companies like Amazon should be treating staff with respect, not treating them like robots.”

Manchester Gorton MP Afzal Khan, who is also a GMB member, said: “I am shocked and appalled by the stories of ‘prison-like’ working conditions in Amazon warehouses across the UK.

“Given the amount of profit Amazon makes, I sincerely hope that their executives will work with GMB union to bring about working conditions that treat all Amazon employees with dignity and respect.”

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