The company charges among the lowest prices for products ranging from books and CDs to sofas and lawnmowers, but those who use Amazon.co.uk or its US counterpart Amazon.com this Christmas may be unaware of the harsh conditions it imposes on staff. Last year the company achieved global profits topping £2.2 billion.
Behind the scenes Amazon, which can expect its busiest day of the year tomorrow, is employing thousands of casual workers in Britain to fetch and package items under arduous conditions. An investigation by The Sunday Times at Amazon’s enormous warehouse in Bedfordshire has found that workers were:
– Warned that the company refuses to allow sick leave, even if the worker has a legitimate doctor’s note. Taking a day off sick, even with a note, results in a penalty point. A worker with six points faces dismissal