Amazon’s Black Friday sales could be severely disrupted by walk-outs over what staff have called ‘inhumane conditions’ at five UK warehouses.
Insiders at the GMB Union have said protests in Rugeley, Milton Keynes, Warrington, Peterborough and Swansea could clash with the shopping surge at the end of this week causing problems for the online giant.
Sources told BuzzFeed News staff have been ‘knocked unconscious’ and suffered broken bones while at work for Amazon.
Staff will be expected to be working hard on Friday as shoppers are expected to scramble for big deals ahead of Christmas
Amazon staff could walkout at five UK centres on Friday. Pictured: Amazon’s fulfillment centre in Swansea, in the run up to Black Friday
However, the online giant said in a statement: ‘Our European Fulfillment Network is fully operational and we continue to focus on delivering for our customers.
‘Any reports to the contrary are simply wrong.’
Strikes could massively impact distribution of goods – although Amazon officials were confident this would not be the case. In a statement, officials for the controversial firm said this is ‘simply wrong’.
However, GMB general secretary Tim Roache said Amazon’s factory workers were ‘not robots’ and said Amazon must negotiate with workers – as the union advocates for them but is not able to strike deals on their behalf.
He said: ‘The conditions our members at Amazon are working under are frankly inhumane.
‘They are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and being taken away in ambulances.
‘We’re standing up and saying enough is enough, these are people making Amazon its money. People with kids, homes, bills to pay — they’re not robots.