This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
TRADE unions are urging the government to “level up” workers’ rights across the country by using its huge purchasing power to improve employment conditions and ban zero-hours contracts.
Makig the call, the TUC and GMB revealed that online giant Amazon was awarded national and local government contracts worth up to £630 million between 2015 and this year, including work related to test and trace valued at £8.3m.
Unions said that reports of employment practices at Amazon describe gruelling conditions, unrealistic productivity targets, surveillance, bogus self-employment and a refusal to engage with unions unless forced.
The TUC said that the Employment Bill, which is awaiting its second reading in Parliament, was a “golden opportunity” for the government to clamp down on poor working practices.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is a key test for the government’s levelling-up agenda.
“If ministers are serious about improving lives, they must help ‘level up’ working conditions at places like Amazon.
“Public contracts should not reward bad working practices. The government must use its purchasing power to ensure people are given dignity at work and a wage they can live on.
“And the government must get on with introducing its long-awaited Employment Bill. This is a golden opportunity to boost rights and pay.”
GMB national officer Mick Rix said: “Amazon is trousering hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ hard-earned cash through public-sector contracts while paying a pittance in tax on their vast profits. It’s beyond parody.
“Meanwhile, workers in Amazon warehouses are being taken away in ambulances, forced to go to the toilet using bins and bottles and are now contracting Covid while packed into warehouses like sardines.”
Amazon claimed that unions were painting a “false picture” of conditions in its warehouses, adding it was working closely with the government to deliver Covid-19 testing kits and not charging for this service.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.