On the biggest shopping day of the year, U.K.-based trade union GMB is organizing a protest against Amazon for what it calls “inhuman” conditions for warehouse workers.
Amazon has been under a microscope recently as it gets ready to bring 25,000 jobs to each of two new “headquarters” locations in New York and Arlington, Virginia. Since the announcement earlier this month, politicians and residents in those areas have questioned the benefit Amazon will bring to their cities as the influx of new workers will likely cause a strain on infrastructure and spike housing prices.
GMB bases its allegations in part on a report that ambulances had been called to Amazon warehouses 600 times over the past three years as of May, a Freedom of Information request filed by the union revealed. Of the calls, 115 were to a single facility in Rugeley with 1,800 to 2,000 workers, the Guardian reported. That compares to eight ambulance calls to a nearby Tesco facility of a similar physical size with about 1,300 workers, according to the Guardian.
In a statement, Amazon said, “Our European Fulfillment Network is fully operational and we continue to focus on delivering for our customers. Any reports to the contrary are simply wrong.”