An Amazon worker has revealed the ‘living hell’ conditions he has been working under as the online giant continues to deliver non-essential orders across the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The anonymous employee described his fears over continuing to ship items to customers, who now remain in lockdown inside their homes, as the virus continues to claim more lives in the UK.
While the company has assured customers it will continue to deliver ‘essential items’ amid the crisis, the member of staff revealed that workers were still selling non-essential items, such as garden equipment, and putting staff like him at risk of catching the virus.
Describing how the company had put measures in place to keep staff safe, the employee explained these rules were being flouted and impossible to practice.
The anonymous Amazon worker described his fears over continuing to work in the company’s warehouse amid the coronavirus outbreak. (Stock image)
The member of staff said the company was still selling essential items, such as garden equipment. (Stock image)
He told Mirror Money: ‘You can be placed on either the role of a ‘Slammer’ or ‘Taper’ which results in you being at the end of a conveyor belt. Each belt has up to eight ‘packers’ sending boxes down.
‘By this point, these items have already come into contact with various workers, greatly increasing their risk of contamination.
‘There has already been a large number of people sick, yet management refuses to close it down. The company has become a living hell to work for.’
The staff member went on to reveal that while the company had set up signs asking employees to clean their work stations, there were very few supplies available for workers to use in order to keep a hygienic environment.
An Amazon spokesman told MailOnline that they have now implemented a two metre social distancing programme instead of their previous one metre guideline and will be adding an additional £2 per hour pay for staff until the end of April.
The spokesman said: ‘As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Amazon and our network of partners are helping communities around the world in a way that very few can — delivering critical supplies directly to the doorsteps of people who need them.
‘Since the early days of this situation, we have worked closely with local authorities and our people to proactively respond, ensuring we continue to serve customers while taking care of our people.
The employee said that while working on the conveyer belt, items came into contact with various workers. (Stock image)
Amazon have confirmed they have since changed guidelines and are asking staff to stand two metres apart. (Stock image)
‘We implemented proactive measures at all of our facilities to protect our people, including increased cleaning, and maintaining social distance, including between drivers and customers when making deliveries.
‘The health of our people is our top priority, and it’s important to us that they remain home if they’re sick or if they or someone in their home has had a fever in the last 24 hours. To support our people during this time we have increased entitlement to paid time off and are enabling people to take leaves of absence as appropriate.
‘As demand continues to increase, we are working to ensure we can continue to deliver to the most impacted customers while keeping our people safe. Many of these customers have no other way to get priority items and we want to be sure that we have the right resources in place to deliver on their needs.
‘We are prioritising the intake and dispatch of items most needed by our customers right now. These are items such as food, health and personal care products, books and items needed to work from home.’
The latest worker frustrations amid the virus crisis comes after the high-street giant Next revealed it would be closing down its online stores after workers raised concerns at being asked to come into shops and warehouses to pick goods during the coronavirus lockdown.
Earlier today the Next revealed that it would be shutting down its online stores after workers raised concerns at being asked to come into work. (Stock image)
A statement from the company said it had listened ‘very carefully’ to the concerns of employees and it was apparent that ‘many increasingly feel that they should be at home in the current climate.’
The announcement comes after the stores bosses faced sustained pressure from politicians and staff, who felt like workers were being pressured into stores.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the company had offered a 20 per cent pay rise to any worker willing to continue picking jumpers, socks and other clothes for customers.
In a statement issued shortly after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that details of the Government’s support package for employers, Next said it ‘has listened very carefully’.
The company added: ‘It is clear that many increasingly feel they should be at home in the current climate.
‘Next has therefore taken the difficult decision to temporarily close its Online, Warehousing and Distribution Operations from this evening, Thursday 26 March 2020.
‘Next will not be taking any more Online orders after this time until further notice.’