Online retailing giant Amazon has refuted claims by Peterborough’s MP that its staff are subject to poor working conditions.
Labour MP Fiona Onasanya has voiced concerns over difficulties she says staff face at the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Kingston Park, Fletton.
Her worries are outlined in her Westminster Life column on page 39 of the Peterborough Telegraph, in which she reveals she has even written to Prime Minister Theresa May to ensure working practices adopted by Amazon are “reasonable”.
She has also told the PT about problems staff tell her they face with a points system for time off for illness, timing of toilet and lunch breaks and the number of ambulance call outs to the fulfilment centre in Peterborough.
She has also submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ambulance service to find out how many times its emergency vehicles have been called to the city’s fulfilment centre and why.
It follows a national report claiming there were 600 ambulance calls outs to UK Amazon centres in the last three years.
Ms Onasanya stated: “My hope is that by shining a light on working conditions they may be improved everywhere.”
But the internet retailer, which employs about 2,500 people in Peterborough, says her claims do not paint an accurate picture of life in the workplace for its employees.
An Amazon spokesman said: “Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people across the UK with competitive pay and benefits from day one and we don’t recognise these allegations as an accurate portrayal of activities in our buildings.
“Last month Amazon was named by LinkedIn as the seventh most sought after place to work in the UK.
He added: “It is simply not correct to suggest that we have unsafe working conditions based on ambulance call out data or on unsubstantiated anecdotes. Requests for ambulance services at our fulfilment centres are predominantly associated with personal health events and are not work related.
“We no longer have a points based attendance policy. All associates have easy access to toilet facilities which are just a short walk from where they are working. We do not monitor toilet breaks. In all our fulfilment centres we have breaks that are longer than legally required. It is important to us all people working at Amazon receive their full break and walking time is allowed so they get the full 30 minutes. Amazon offers public tours of its fulfilment centres so customers can see first-hand what happens.”