Amazon forcing employees to work seven days round the clock

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sweatshop.jpgAnyone looking for a little temporary work over Christmas might want to steer well clear of online retail leviathan Amazon. An undercover journalist from the Sunday Times reported that staff in the warehouse in Bedfordshire are required to work five days a week with an obligatory night shift on Saturdays, effectively meaning they’re labouring all week long.

The plus side is that it does mean there’s a good chance all our Christmas presents will make it in time but it does give me nasty flashbacks of all the awful jobs I’ve had in the past. Check this, workers are not allowed sick leave even if they have a note from their doctor. Harsh but reminiscent of a certain telesales company I had the misfortune to work for once.

Before I go any further, I’d probably best point out that the picture above is not of Amazon workers, well, not as far as I know. Those ones at least have the luxury of a seat whereas Amazon drones are required to pack 140 Xboxes every hour to hit their target.

The “package”, which I doubt includes dental, is £6.30 per hour with transport to and from the warehouse costing a further £8.50 each day.

To be fair to Amazon, all their employees know what they’re getting themselves in for from day one. I just hope they find their own way to scrape together a few fringe benefits on the side.

So, crap jobs. Which have you had and how bad were they? Let me know in the comments. It’s got to be telesales pushing crappy 1.3-megajunk BT Fusion phones for minimum wage for me, and having to wear a tie while I was doing it. What’s yours?

(via PC Pro)

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Daniel Sung

4 comments

  • Basic rights under the Working Time Directive & its UK implementation regulations:
    * a limit of an average of 48 hours a week which a worker can be required to work (though workers can choose to work more if they want to).
    * a limit of an average of 8 hours work in 24 which nightworkers can be required to work.
    * a right for night workers to receive free health assessments.
    * a right to 11 hours rest a day.
    * a right to a day off each week.
    Src: http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/employment/employment-legislation/working-time-regs/

    Seems to me they are pushing it a bit! Are Amazon unionised?

  • Worst job I had was working at a call centre where on the morning we went live handling a very large international computer companie’s customers we didn’t even have phones on our desk as we went live! We had 7 hour call que times for the first few weeks and some senior bods lost their jobs whilst us lot on the phones sent peeople free printers, cameras and inks in the confusion.

  • Hmm let me think… it’s a toss up between operating the Asda waste compactor for 8 hours a day and picking off black frozen chips from a conveyor belt.

    How legal is Amazon’s requirement from all it’s warehouse staff?

    • Very good question. Well, wage-wise, it’s above the minimum. The sick leave’s dodgy but my afore-not-mentioned telesales company got away with that one under some jargon of a Government scheme. As for the hours, I’m not so sure.

      I think I’d rather do the trash compactor. There’s something life sapping about working at a conveyor belt.

      I worked on a farm grading machine once. Just for a day. We had to pour untold amounts of dusty grain into this machine which would then drop 95% of it onto the floor for us to sweep up and put through again. The sound of the machine was so loud you couldn’t talk to any one and when it did shut off, it meant you had to get sweeping again. I quit that night.

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