Amazon responds to Fife People’s Assembly and Fife Trades Union Council demonstration yesterday. #ExposeAmazon
A spokesman for Amazon said: “Amazon is proud to be a significant contributor to the economy in Scotland, including investing hundreds of millions of pounds in our Scottish operations over the past five years and today supporting over 2,200 competitively-paid jobs at our research and development centre as well as customer service centre in Edinburgh, and fulfilment centres in Gourock and Dunfermline.”
No mention of the millions they have received from the Government in grants and subsidies. No mention that their “competitively paid jobs” are mainly minimum wage, or if you are lucky to have a blue badge (that means you have a permanent contract) a wee bit above.
No mention of the fact that up until now all their sales have been put through Luxembourg and so last year they paid £11 million pounds in tax on earnings of over £5.3 billion. No mention that although they are well within the law, they were not paying the full tax on the sales made in the UK.
“We care for and value our employees and maintain a culture of direct dialogue with them. People are employed in a range of positions, from operations managers to engineers, HR and IT roles to employees who will handle orders at the fulfilment centres.
They do not explain why they have such a huge turnover of employees, if they are such a caring employer with a culture of dialogue. Most companies actually conduct exit interviews with employees, so they can garner the reasons for people leaving. Amazon must have thousands of these, if they are such a good employer, who always puts the individual approach to employee relations. So why do so many people leave? Or more to the point are sacked, not given hours due to their “non zero-hours” contracts.
Of course they don’t explain anywhere why they are such a totally anti-union organisation. You can make up your own mind on that one.
In Fife where we have unemployment levels above the national average, Amazon now has to bus in their employees in from as far away as, Stirling, Dundee and Glasgow. I have to ask the question, if they are such a good and caring an employer, why would they have to resort to this?
“Amazon employees do not have zero hour contracts. Currently over 95% of temporary employees in our fulfilment centres work a 40-hour week.
I agree no full time Amazon employee has a zero-hour contract. But how many of their agency employed, employees have a zero-hour contract. Transline employees are only guaranteed 20 hours. That is after they have agreed to sign a waiver exempting them from the Working Time directive of 48 hours maximum.
They make no mention of people losing half an hour’s wages for being one minute late, either to start the shift or returning from a break. The employees also lose one of their 6 points.
They do not mention people being sent home either before their shift commences or part way through, with a resulting loss of wages and having had to pay for their own transport to get there.
“Outside of the Christmas period, the majority of our total UK fulfilment centre workforce is made up of permanent employees. To manage variation in customer demand and as a way of finding high-quality permanent employees we also engage seasonal employees.
They do not tell us what percentage of their employees are permanent. They also do not tell us what the turnover of employees is. I wonder what the total figure would be if they actually published their total employee numbers since they opened in Dunfermline.
“Like most companies, Amazon also has a fair and predictable system to record employee attendance.”
As they have, as all companies do, a good record of employee attendance, they could then publish the total number of employees they have actually employed since they opened. It is not a hard task as it is all stored on their IT systems. If they need a wee hand I could run that report for them. But as a huge Global, internet corporation I really would think they would have this information readily available.
No rebuff about the employee who had to clean up broken glass with her bare hands and cut herself badly.
No rebuff against the employee who was penalised for apparently “walking too slow”. He received a penalty point for that of course.
No rebuff against the employee who was followed to the toilet and when he ask why, was threatened with a penalty point. Six strikes and you’re out remember.
No rebuff about the lorry drivers who are locked in a room for up to 4 hours whilst their trailers are being loaded/Unloaded.
I can list hundreds of these if you want, as this is just a snap shot of course.