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To: Christopher North, Managing Director Work with GMB to get temp workers a decent job Work with GMB to get temp workers a decent job

Work with GMB members in your temporary workforce to get a job guarantee contract that treats staff with respect and gives them security at work without the need to claim ‘in work’ benefits.

Why is this important?

Amazon offers "jobs of last resort" to the communities where they build their warehouses, currently Inverclyde, Dunfermline, Swansea, Rugeley, Bedford, Peterborough, Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Croydon. They employ tens of thousands of people, mostly on temporary contracts and at arm’s length through agencies.

Most of the time, according to GMB members, Amazon is not helping people off benefits and into work permanently - their employment practices lock people into the revolving door of low paid temporary work and Job Seekers Allowance - making already hard hit towns and communities even poorer.

In Amazon the National Minimum Wage (NMW) has become the maximum wage for most staff, who cannot get enough hours of work and live in fear of losing their job. Few Amazon staff can make ends meet without claiming ‘in work’ benefits while they work for Amazon.

According to a survey of Amazon staff:
91% would not recommend working for Amazon to a friend.
70% of staff felt they were given disciplinary points unfairly.
89% felt exploited.
78% felt their breaks were too short
71% reported they walked more than 10 miles a day at work.

GMB - the trade union for Amazon staff - is campaigning with local communities, tax justice groups and Amazon staff to make sure the company makes its full contribution to rebuilding the UK economy - both by paying wages its staff can live on and by paying its taxes.

In the last three tax years for which information is known Amazon has paid only £4.24 million tax on £10.82 billion sales: a tax rate of less than 0.5%. Yet at the moment Amazon is heavily subsidised by taxpayers in three ways:

1. Through the Tax Credits and Housing Benefit their staff have to claim to make ends meet due to their low wages and short term jobs
2. Through the millions of pounds in grants they get from national and local government to build roads, street lighting and land clearance every time they build a new warehouse.
3. Through their exploitation of tax loopholes that means they pay Corporation Tax at a fraction of the rate their low paid staff pay.

GMB say it's time to end the something for nothing culture - It's time Amazon paid their way. We urge all staff at Amazon to join GMB to protect their job, get back up when they need it and join our campaign for better pay, secure working hours and a safe workplace.

We're campaigning to ensure Amazon:
> Allows staff access to GMB where they work to get the employment advice and back up they need
> Pays a fairer wage so that its staff don't have to claim ‘in work’ benefits
> Provide more permanent contracts of employment with enough hours of work for families to have the security the need
> Improves its approach to safety and long term health at work to protect employees from the effects of its work practices
> Pays its taxes
> Acts responsibly towards the local communities it disrupts with its activities


2016-12-12 10:25:53 +0000

Amazon accused of 'intolerable conditions' at Scottish warehouse.

Hard-pressed workers at Amazon have resorted to sleeping in tents close to the company’s fulfilment centre in Fife.

Read more here:

2016-12-05 11:11:38 +0000

Last weekend, Amazon is accused of 'dehumanising' its staff battling to deliver gifts to millions of customers in time for Christmas.

Seven seconds to find an item, every move filmed and blistering 12-hours shifts with timed toilet breaks... what YOUR Christmas order does to your 'worker elves.'

Mail reporter worked undercover in Amazon centre near Glasgow.

Read the full article here:

2015-06-10 13:30:45 +0100 are hosting their annual shareholder meeting in Seattle today - 10 June 2015. Our friends corporate responsibility campaign group SumOfUs will be there too.

They’ve managed to get a motion into the votes that will be taken at the meeting, calling on Amazon to conduct a review of how their business impacts on the human rights of their workers and those in their supply chains.

Find out more and help them get noticed by Amazon investors here:

2015-04-16 09:36:34 +0100

Now GMB believe we are starting to uncover another worrying story - The full extent of the long term impact on health of Amazon’s badly designed and dangerous work regime. With many members in depots across the company, we’re in a unique position to hear from the inside what life is really like working for Amazon.

In February our organisers started to hear unusual stories about some Amazon staff being quietly offered lump sums to leave employment. We’re concerned Amazon are attempting to get rid of longer serving staff.

Working in the manner the company forces on their warehouse staff means that stress and the physical impact of the job take their toll. We believe working this way over any longer period of time could have a devastating impact on workers’ health, and Amazon may be aware of this, taking on staff on for short contracts, then laying them off to rely on benefits for a few months before rehiring them.

Read the full story here and please share:

2015-02-04 14:44:51 +0000

For those following the Ashford depot development, there's an opportunity for local people to comment on the planning application before 18 Feb. You can find it online at (you need to search year 14 and case 00906. Then click on the case number and select 'Make a comment' from the tab).

2015-01-12 16:51:03 +0000

Amazon is looking to double its operations and is reportedly eyeing 12 UK sites. The next planned is Sevington, a tiny village just outside Ashford in Kent, where they want to build the biggest distribution depot yet - 1 million square feet. Many Ashford residents are concerned about the impact on the area, not least that Amazon will get a £66m - £90m taxpayers subsidy in the form of a dedicated new road junction on the M20.

In other areas we’ve seen Amazon take huge subsidies in new infrastructure, but then fail to pay back to the community, bringing super-casualised short term, low paid jobs, that end up with workers having to apply for in-work benefits.

GMB is hosting a public meeting on 20 Jan about the proposed Sevington depot. If you live in the area, please come along and make your voice heard. It’s at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 20 January 2015, at Ashford International sports & social club, 181 Beaver Rd, Ashford, TN23 7SG. Download a flyer at

2014-12-17 09:04:26 +0000

Past 5,000 signatures now, which is great! Thanks to everyone who's signed so far, and please keep sharing it with your friends and colleagues. Let's make this big.

And if you work for Amazon yourself and haven't done so yet, you might like to consider joining a growing number of other temp and permanent staff by becoming a member of GMB. You can join the union online, and GMB will never divulge your membership to your employer. GMB members get advice and support on problems they face at work and also get involved in our campaign to force Amazon to treat its staff properly - Building a strong network amongst Amazon staff will be crucial to persuading the management that their workers are serious about change.

2014-12-17 00:42:36 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2014-12-14 10:20:15 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2014-12-14 09:25:50 +0000

500 signatures reached

2014-12-11 21:51:38 +0000

100 signatures reached

2014-12-11 15:33:18 +0000

50 signatures reached

2014-12-11 14:45:26 +0000

25 signatures reached

2014-12-11 14:37:36 +0000

10 signatures reached