The BBC is set to reveal the findings of an investigation into online retail giant Amazon, claiming its UK working conditions could cause some staff mental and physical illness.
It sent an undercover reporter – 23-year-old Adam Littler – along to its Swansea warehouse, who filmed goings-on using a hidden camera, during his employment as a picker in the 800,000 square foot warehouse.
Results of the findings – released just before Amazon recruits thousands of temporary Christmas workers – are due to be shown on a Panorama programme this evening.
Littler said during his 10 and a half-hour shift, he walked the equivalent of 11 miles, working for an hourly rate of £6.50 during the day and £8.25 at night, and was expected to collect an order every 33 seconds.
Scanners traced a pickers’ collection rate and sent the performance findings to managers, the report alleges. If it is too low, they were told they could face disciplinary action.
The BBC roped in professor Michael Marmot, a stress at work expert, who claimed the working conditions at the warehouse are "all the bad stuff at once" and showed "increased risk of mental illness and physical illness".
In its defence, Amazon said new recruits are warned some positions are physically demanding and said that productivity targets are set objectively based on previous performance levels achieved by workers.
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