INTERNET retail giant Amazon being awarded a £600 million contract to provide for our public services is a ‘sick joke’ given the company’s ‘record of exploitation’, trade union GMB said yesterday.
Amazon has secured a contract to sell everything from paper clips to bandages to Yorkshire’s schools, social care providers and emergency services. If an order from Amazon on-line goes missing in the post it can be infuriating. However, if an order for medical equipment for an Accident and Emergency department does not arrive, that can be life-threatening!
Amazon signed the five-year deal with Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO), a procurement body owned by local authorities which helps to drive the cost of goods down by agreeing mass deals with suppliers.
Neil Derrick, GMB Regional Secretary, said: ‘Amazon has a record of exploitation so terrible, literally hundreds of ambulances are called out to their warehouses as workers suffer from appalling conditions at work. ‘The idea a company like that can provide services for emergency services is a sick joke. ‘If they really wanted to help our public services, they’d pay taxes properly and treat their workforce better. ‘Instead, they’re trying to make a few million quid from our cash-strapped councils. ‘It’s a crying shame the Conservative’s obsessive austerity drive has left local authorities in this position – having to drive public procurement through an anti-public service ethos company such as Amazon.’