Amazon workers sleeping in tents
Employees camped out near Amazon warehouse to save money
Scottish newspaper The Courier reports that three tents have been pitched in woodland near the M90 motorway in Dunfermline, Fife - close to Amazon "fulfilment centres".
The Independent reports that “Employees are braving sub-zero temperatures to save money on travel costs so they can continue working for the company, which does not pay staff a living wage.”
In an interview with the Courier, one worker, who did not wish to be named, described the firm as a “poor employer” and criticised working practices at the Fife site.
He added that he had opted to stay in a tent as it was easier and cheaper than commuting from his home in Perth.
Special buses are laid on by private companies to transport workers to the facility but fares cost up to £10 per day – the equivalent of more than an hour’s pay.
Temperatures have dropped to -7C in the area in recent days, raising fears about the welfare of the workers.
Willie Rennie, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said:
“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.
They pay a small amount of tax and received millions of pounds from the SNP Government so the least they should do is pay the proper living wage.
The fares the company charge for transport swallow up a lot of the weekly wage which is forcing people to seek ever more desperate ways of making work pay.”
The company came bottom of the table in our recent guide to bookshops. Scoring zero points out of twenty.
The company are also subject to a boycott call from Ethical Consumer over their tax avoidance after paying just £9.8 million in tax on profits in the UK despite raking in £6.3 billion from UK sales in 2015.
A spokesperson for Amazon said:
“Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace. The safety and wellbeing of our permanent and temporary associates is our number one priority.
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.”
See our guide to bookshops to help you avoid Amazon this Christmas.