Campaigners release video ahead of Amazon a.g.m

Campaigners release video ahead of Amazon a.g.m

An anti-Amazon campaign group has created a video calling on the company’s shareholders to learn the “full story” of how warehouse workers are treated, timed to coincide with the company’s annual general meeting in America. 

Amazon Anonymous, which began its campaigning activity in 2013  , has created a video containing “testimonials” from Amazon warehouse workers and featuring some “undercover footage” taken by an employee of inside one of its warehouses. 

The campaign group has timed the release of its video to coincide with Amazon’s annual general meeting later today (10th June) in Seattle, which shareholders will attend. 

In a direct email to its followers, Amazon Anonymous asked people to share the video "far and wide" and watch it with friends and family. It also asks viewers to send a letter to Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and c.e.o, which reads: “I am contacting you on the eve of the Amazon annual general meeting in Seattle. I know that you’ll be celebrating another year of profits for Amazon but I want to make sure that shareholders hear the full story.

“Amazon workers suffer miserable working conditions, stress, poverty wages and job insecurity. Amazon would not exist without its’ workers and you need to treat them fairly. Listen to their testimonies here. I hope you listen up and get ready to change the Amazon story tomorrow.”

Four different unnamed voices speak on the video giving their testimonials. One said: “My performance was continually monitored. Everyone was under so much pressure to achieve targets, the work environment was one of the most unhappy I have ever been in.”

Another said: “I’ve always considered myself a very physically fit person, I’m a keen amateur cyclist – but after two week of a physically and mentally punishing regime I gave up, I could hardly walk with blisters.”

While another said: “They laid off temporary shift workers on mass and sometimes at 4am when it was freezing, and nobody had anywhere to go, we weren’t even allowed to stay in the canteen until the buses started running.”

The last said: “We had zero hour contracts. Sometimes we were told to go home without pay after waiting round for a couple of hours with nothing to do. I have never felt such depression from work in my life. I felt unable to do anything about how I was being treated.”

While Amazon did not want to comment on record about the video, it is understood the company currently employs over 95% of full-time temporary staff in its fulfilment centres who work a 40 hour week and have agreements with its employment agencies that full-time seasonal staff will be paid for no less than 20 hours of work per week, even when 20 hours of work is not available. The company also says it does not use zero-hour contracts.

Amazon also recently launched public tours of its fulfilment centres in the UK  to show off its working environment. 

The Transit Riders Union in the US is also planning to gather with  members outside the a.g.m at Seattle Repertory Theater tomorrow in protest at some of the company’s practices.