Amazon has seen a huge rise in sales during the coronavirus crisis as consumers seek to obtain goods without leaving home. But critics are increasingly raising concerns about conditions with the company and its contractors.
Amazon says it plans to create 7,000 more jobs in Britain this year, on top of 3,000 new recruits already hired by the online retail giant in 2020.
But concerns have been raised about the conditions of lorry drivers employed by a haulage firm supplying Amazon in western Europe.
The Guardian claimed lorry drivers delivering to Amazon distribution hubs across Europe were being asked to manipulate tachograph machines which govern the amount of time they can drive and how much rest they are supposed to take.
It said drivers working for Hegelmann, a Kaunas-based haulage firm which has a contract with Amazon, were also paid around 1,500 euros a month – around 1.3 times the Lithuanian minimum wage – and considerably less than what would be earned by truck drivers in Germany and other western European countries.
The allegations would mean Hegelmann was in breach of the retail giant’s pledge about working conditions in its supply chain.
It comes only days after Amazon – whose owner Jeff Bezos is worth an estimated US$204.6 billion – withdrew job adverts in which they appeared to be hiring people to spy on their own workers.