Amazon have hit back at this week’s BBC 1 Panorama show which claimed that workers faced the risk of physical and mental illness.
In a statement they said “We strongly refute the charge that Amazon exploits its employees in any way. The safety of our associates is our number one priority, and we adhere to all regulations and employment law.
Amazon provided a ton of additional information in the form of video content to back up their case, including a recent BBC Breakfast interview with an Amazon employee at our Swansea fulfilment centre. The interview was broadcast on BBC 1 on the 13th of November 2013. The segment includes an interview with Amazon employee Sarah Healy, who started as a temp at Amazon and progressed to a full time job.
Amazon added “We care for our associates’ wellbeing and maintain a culture of direct dialogue and innovation. As we continue to grow, we continue to learn, innovate and improve in order to meet the high expectations of our customers. Every associate plays a key role, and we’re committed to treating them with dignity and respect”.
They also pointed out that “From April 2012 to October 2013, Amazon’s RIDDOR rate (the “Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations” as defined by the UK Health and Safety Executive) was less than 40% of the average for companies reporting under the same industry code, “Warehousing and Support Activities for Transport”, (HSE Div 52)””
Judging by Amazon’s response and the number of videos of happy employees that they’ve managed to pull together in the last 24 hours there are plenty of Amazon workers perfectly happy with their jobs and the work regime at Amazon.
It would seem reasonable that Panorama would have had time to search the BBC archives from two weeks ago and find the BBC Breakfast interview to give a balanced view point. It does make Panorama look very much like they wrote the story that they wanted to broadcast and then made sure they got the footage to back it up.
You can read the full Amazon statement and see the other videos on the Amazon website.
Edited to add: Amazon have also just uploaded a video of Michael Crisp, a 72 year old who loves working for Amazon.