Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Poverty In Amazonia

Below are some of the conditions expected of those who take up temporary employment at Amazon this Christmas. Here is a petition set up by an individual with honourable and decent intentions to improve the lot of working people. How sad that once again we have to point out the futility of this attempt to extract a concession from this commercial giant, begging for crumbs from the table. Living wage? Call that living? Abolish wage slavery now!

.@AmazonUK: This Christmas, pay the Living Wage across UK operations

By Emily Kenway

This Christmas, Amazon has taken on nearly 15,000 extra agency staff to deal with the Christmas shopping rush. But many of them won't earn enough to buy the bare essentials of life.

And that's not all Amazon does to demean its workers:

A sack-if-you're-sick policy that sees you turfed out if you take 3 sick breaks in a 3 month period

Giving workers 15 minute breaks that start wherever they are in the giant warehouses

10 hour days

Compulsory overtime

Monitoring and timing toilet breaks

Half-a-point if you're 1 minute late or more (3 points and you're out)

Paying the minimum wage or just above it, when it could well afford to pay the Living Wage

A 'performance console' that tracks and logs workers' activities so they can be released if their 'pick rate' is too slow

I don't know about you, but I find it pretty disgusting. Paying the Living Wage will be a big step in the right direction.

Amazon has more than enough money to pay its workers (both permanent employees and contracted agency workers) the Living Wage. This is the wage needed to support a basic standard of living. With UK sales in 2012 of £4.2billion, you'd think Amazon could afford to pay its workers enough to be able to feed and clothe themselves and their families.

Amazon is an enormously successful company. This petition calls on Amazon to recognise the humanity of its workers and their very real needs.

Do what's best for your workers (permanent and agency) this Christmas, Amazon: become an accredited Living Wage employer across your UK operations. God knows, you could do with a good news story.

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