EXHAUSTED STAFF HANDED 7P Amazon saw your story & wanted to do something to raise morale ..They gave us each two Celebrations
MISERLY Amazon bosses reacted to the Sunday Mirror’s investigation into its shocking working conditions – by giving out tiny chocolates.
Staff on gruelling 10-and-a-half-hour shifts were given one Celebration sweet in the first half of their day and another in the second half.
The bizarre gesture is revealed today by former employee Neil Drinkwater – who quit after his partner read our exposé and realised for the first time what he had been enduring.
We told last week of exhausted warehouse staff falling asleep on their feet as they chased impossible targets.
And the five-week investigation led to a widespread backlash against the £7.3billion-a-year online giant.
Neil, 41, started at Amazon after losing his sales job when the construction firm he worked for went bust.
He told us: “This week our managers started coming round with a box of Celebrations for the first part of the shift, and gave us a chocolate each.
“Then they did the same at the second part of the shift. Me and my colleagues were saying this was down to the Sunday Mirror. We all thought it was an insult.”
Staff at Amazon’s “fulfillment” centres, where orders are put together, packed and shipped, work up to 55 hours a week for £8.20 an hour.
Their boss, American Jeff Bezos, 53, is the world’s richest man. Like Neil, he is a dad of four. Last year he made £2.2million an hour.
Neil, who had spent a month on nights at Amazon’s plant near Manchester, handed in his resignation after Wednesday’s night shift.
He told how he asked a supervisor whether Amazon had any plans to improve conditions for workers.
Neil said: “I asked, ‘Did you read that article in the Mirror?’ He said yes, and that they’d had feedback off Amazon to say if anyone asks about it they should say they’re reviewing the target system and their procedures. “I said, ‘What do you think?’ and he said, ‘I think it’s dire. The way they work you guys is terrible’.” But Neil said the manager told him that Amazon bosses are secretly hoping the scandal will simply blow over. He said: “They told me the chocolates were given out to try to raise spirits, to get everybody on board. It’s a couple of sweets per shift to get morale up and make them think they care about us. I found it quite insulting, to be honest.”
After five weeks undercover our investigator told last week how “pickers” at Amazon’s newest warehouse, in Tilbury, Essex, were given targets of processing at least 300 ordered items per hour. And we photographed “packers” asleep at their stations where, if they achieve 120 boxes an hour, they earn seven pence per box. Ironically, seven pence is also the cost of a Celebration.
Staff at Tilbury reported that after our story small chocolate bars and free
Jeff Bezos is worth $100billion
SCANDAL Reporter Alan, top, and his story