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'Our members don’t get much love': Union workers in Valentine's protest at Amazon Rugeley

By Jordan Reynolds | Rugeley | Business | Published:

A giant Valentine's card was delivered to Amazon Rugeley by a union protesting the warehouse's 'brutal' conditions.

Workers outside the Amazon warehouse in Rugeley

GMB delivered the card after an investigation by the union revealed ambulances had been called to the warehouse 115 times, including three for pregnant women and three for major trauma.

GMB also said 88 serious incidents had been reported to the health and safety executive since 2015.

Amanda Gearing, GMB senior organiser, said: “It may be Valentine’s Day but our members don’t get much love from Amazon.

“The conditions are brutal; workers suffer convulsions, electric shocks, major traumas, get knocked unconscious and are taken away in ambulances.

“This can’t go on – but Amazon refuses to meet with us so we can improve conditions for workers.

Workers outside the Amazon warehouse in Rugeley

“Our Amazon members deserve better - and we won’t stop campaigning until they get it.”

A spokesman for Amazon defended the company's health and safety record, saying it has 40 per cent fewer injuries than other UK warehousing companies.

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They said: "The fact is that Amazon already offers what gatherings like this are requesting for employees: industry-leading pay, comprehensive benefits, opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern work environment.

"At Amazon, these benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company. We encourage everyone to visit our Rugeley site to see first-hand our focus on safety, employee well-being, and innovation.

"We are surprised anyone would be criticised for calling an ambulance for somebody who needs help. The requests for ambulance services at our centres are predominantly associated with personal health events and are not work-related.

"Using absolute ambulance numbers to suggest that a workplace is not safe is simply wrong because it does not take into consideration hours worked and population-size.

"If you want a true assessment of Amazon’s safety record, then according to the UK Government’s Health & Safety Executive.

"Amazon has over 40 per cent fewer injuries on average than other transportation and warehousing companies in the UK. We will continue to maintain our high safety record, care about our team and call ambulances for people who need them, because that is the right thing to do."

Jordan Reynolds

By Jordan Reynolds
Reporter - @jreynolds_star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star.

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