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Anger over alleged Amazon warehouse working conditions

By Charlotte Callear | Rugeley | Business | Published:

Angry protesters gathered outside Rugeley's Amazon factory after shocking figures revealed the number of injuries in the workplace.

GMB union members carry out the protest in front of the Amazon factory in Rugeley, where they say conditions are unsafe

A group of only about 10 people were outside the under-fire firm in Tower Business Park in Power Station Road to highlight the crisis engulfing the factory.

It comes after figures revealed ambulances were called out to the site 115 times in just three years for incidents including electrocution, unconsciousness, fire and chest pains.

Rebecca Mitchell, GMB regional organiser, said: "The stories we here from inside Amazon Rugeley are nothing short of disgusting.

"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 – we've even heard of a woman miscarrying at work.

“Amazon Rugeley must be one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain.

“Yet the company keep burying their head in the sand and claiming nothing is wrong - even in the face of cast iron proof.

“We are here today to raise awareness of the terrible conditions Amazon force our members to work under.

“These issues need tackling and we're asking the company to meet with us to help improve the conditions for their workforce.”

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The protest, organised by the West Midlands branch of the GMB Union, included an ambulance and Amazon robots - after staff complained they had been treated like robots.

A spokesman for Amazon said: "Amazon is a safe place to work, in fact according to the UK governments Health and Safety Executive RIDDOR, Amazon has 43 per cent fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies in the UK.

"In the UK Fulfillment Centers ambulance occurred at a rate of 0.00001 per worked hour, which is dramatically low.

"Requests for ambulance services at our fulfillment centers are predominantly associated with personal health events and are not work related.

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"Amazon has created more than 25,000 good jobs with good pay and benefits across Britain and we are proud of the work they do on behalf of customers every day.

"The good news is that our teams agree and are proud to say they work at Amazon which is why LinkedIn recently ranked Amazon #7 on its UK Top Companies list.

"We encourage you to compare our pay, benefits, and working conditions to others and come see for yourself on one of the public tours we offer every day at our centres across the UK uk.amazonfctours.com"

Charlotte Callear

By Charlotte Callear
@CCallear_Star

Reporter based at the Express & Star's Wolverhampton head office

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