Amazon may be off to a slowish start since it launched in Australia last week, however, it appears full steam ahead in the UK if an alarming new investigation is to be believed.
According to the UK’s The Sunday Mirror, Amazon delivery drivers are being forced to make as many as 200 deliveries a day. The heavy demand has meant drivers regularly speed, work longer than legally allowed, miss meal breaks and even urinate in a bottle to meet the “impossible” schedule.
One driver who was quoted for the article said: “Amazon sent an email to all managers to try to stop drivers carrying bottles filled with urine. The security guards were reporting people for it.”
The report noted: “Many claim they are employed in a way that means they have no rights to holiday or sickness pay.”
Worse still, the investigation claimed that when things like van hire and petrol are taken out, many contract drivers are making less than the national minimum wage. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is one of the world’s richest people with a fortune said to be worth $A130 billion.
The Sunday Mirror investigation revealed: That divers “claim they are working as long as 12 hours each day, sometimes as much as 14 – despite UK law dictating that drivers must not be on duty for more than 11 hours in any working day. One 50-year-old worker told us he took home just £160 after forking out for van costs plus £140-worth of fuel, reimbursed later at 16p per mile.”
The article also claimed that Amazon wasn’t paying its fair share of tax, notching up $A13 billion sales in the UK last year but only paying a miserly $13.1 million in tax.
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