Amazon responds to accusations of 'low paid' staff camping near work as they can't afford to commute

Amazon responds to accusations of 'low paid' staff camping near work as they can't afford to commute

Amazon employees have been choosing to sleep in tents close to work as they can’t afford to commute.

This is according to The Courier, which revealed that at least three tents have been spotted in woodlands near the company’s fulfilment centre in Fife, Scotland.

An anonymous worker told the newspaper that Amazon was a “poor employer” and that he had opted to stay in a tent as it was easier and cheaper than commuting.

Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, told The Courier: “Amazon should be ashamed that they pay their workers so little that they have to camp out in the dead of winter to make ends meet.

“Amazon need to take a long, hard look at themselves and change their ways. They pay a small amount of tax and received millions of the pounds from the SNP Government, so the least they should do is pay the proper living wage.”

However, Amazon has responded by saying: “Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace. The safety and wellbeing of our permanent and temporary associates is our number one priority.

“We are also proud to have been able to create several thousand new permanent roles in our UK fulfilment centres over the last five years.

“We pay competitive wages – all permanent and temporary Amazon associates start on £7.35 an hour or above, regardless of age, and £11 an hour and above for overtime.”

Paul Ashraf, General Manager at Amazon, also defended the company and its treatment of staff. He told the Scottish newspaper: “I focus very heavily, especially in peak times, on associate experience.

“We know it’s a very intense time for them, as it’s a month of hard work for everybody, but we’ve got to make sure that it’s safe for them and that they have fun along the way.”

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Comments (4)

  • Sir
    Wed, 14 Dec 2016 1:03pm GMT
    Doesn't this say more about the high costs of commuting and housing ?
  • Big Dog
    Big Dog
    Mon, 12 Dec 2016 2:02pm GMT
    @ The Dog Pound - If you offer high levels of service you need to ensure that you incentivise and motivate workers to maintain and deliver that level service for your company, continuous HR issues propping up will have long term effects on the business reputation as a company for good employment.
  • The Dog Pound
    The Dog Pound
    Mon, 12 Dec 2016 1:29pm GMT
    Amazon sell hundreds of thousands of items at low prices, margins will be tight. You can't expect cheap prices and high levels of service (items delivered within 24 horus of ordering) to be all sunshine and rainbows. You can't expect high wages but low priced items.
  • Big Dog
    Big Dog
    Mon, 12 Dec 2016 1:01pm GMT
    Wow, its astonishing that a company worth nearly 300 billion (more than the big supermarket chain Walmart), and is recognised as 12th in the worlds most valuable brands can receive such negative coverage in relation to its treatment, expectations and demands of staff members. I think that Amazon need to take a long hard look at the way in which they are perceived as an employer, not only just a brand as this will have detrimental effects to the business long term and could result in consumers deterring away from amazon services.

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