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Boxing Day Sales Highlight Plight of Warehouse Workers

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

 

Move to cyber-sales puts focus on reportedly poor conditions for depot staff, union claims.

This year’s Boxing Day sales put the shocking conditions warehouse staff are reportedly forced to work under into the spotlight, says GMB.

Bargain-hunting consumers have traditionally queued outside their local department store each December 26 in search of a good deal.

However more and more people are now looking to the internet to get hold of cut price merchandise while in the comfort of their own homes.

GMB, the union for warehouse workers, says this highlights the need for better conditions in depots run by firms such as ASOS, Amazon and Top Shop.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said:

“Boxing Day sales used to mean endless queues of bargain hunters lining up outside their favourite shops.

“But in this digital age, most people try to find their Boxing Day bargains online.

“What that means in reality is huge numbers of people forced to give up their Christmas break to pick and pack your products in enormous warehouses.

“And 2016 is a year in which some terribly exploitative practices appear to have been exposed

“In Barnsley – ASOS [1] have been accused of excessively monitoring workers, multiple security checks each day (including to and from the toilet), the use of flex contracts that leave staff unsure how many hours they will work each week and a reliance on agency .

“Amazon workers in Dunfermerline [2] are reportedly sleeping in tents just so they can get to work on time and are getting penalised for being sick.

“And staff in Top Shop depots [3] have been forced to strike in their desperate bid for a real living wage.

“GMB will continue to fight for their rights in 2017 – but please, think of how they will spend their Boxing Day’s when you embark on your sale searching spree.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

Contact: Mick Rix on 07971268343 or at mick.rix@gmb.org.uk

[1] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/asos-slammed-gmb http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/unpaid-hours-at-asos http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/newsroom/asos-treat-your-workers-with-respect.html http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/newsroon/asos-whistleblowing-helpline.html http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/buzzfeed-asos-report http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/Asos-coining-it-in http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/asos-is-the-next-sports-direct http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/asos-barnsley-needs-better-pay-and-conditions

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/11/amazon-accused-of-intolerable-conditions-at-scottish-warehouse

[3] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/sir-philip-green-topshop-supply-workers-walk-out http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/topshop-boss-sir-philip http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/disgraced-ex-bhs-boss http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/topshop-strike-gives
 

 

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