Sacked worker backs report into poor conditions at Tilbury Amazon

A FATHER-of-three sacked by mail order giant Amazon four weeks before Christmas has spoken out about the shocking working conditions he says staff are subjected to at the company’s new Tilbury-based fulfilment centre.
Gary Forster, 35, from Purfleet, said he and many others were ‘sold the dream’ when applying to work at the site, but since working there from the building’s opening on 1 October, says he has seen around 600 workers either leave or get sacked.
Gary was ‘let go’ on Monday, but said he would have quit after Christmas anyway.
Backing up allegations exposed in a Daily Mirror undercover report last week, Gary said the workers are treated with no respect by management, and are constantly monitored, timed during their breaks and set unrealistic targets.
He added: “We were told it would be a fun place to work, but when you start there it’s not that great at all.
“You are constantly timed on how much you do, and if you don’t stow 3,000 items a day they basically kick you out the door. A lot of people walked out on the first day it was so bad.”
Gary started working in a role stowing items in pods, which he described as some of the most “mind-numbing work imaginable.”
He added: “The way management speak to you is so condescending, and as soon as you step away from your station they are asking where you’re going and timing how long you’re away.
“They basically just want to have a team of robots working for them. You get two half hour breaks and if you’re back a minute late they scan your badge and deduct 15 minutes from your wages. It could have been a great place to work, but I don’t agree with how they’re trying to work this, I don’t agree with their philosophy and I don’t agree with their working standards.
“You can’t talk to people, you can’t have a bit of fun, with this you’ve pretty much just got to work in silence. What they want are people who don’t have backbone and you’re not going to find a lot of people like that in Thurrock.”
A spokesperson for Amazon said: “Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace with competitive pay and benefits from day one. We are proud to have created thousands of permanent roles in our UK fulfilment centres in recent years.
“We offer great jobs and a positive environment with opportunities for growth. As with most companies, we expect a certain level of performance.
“Targets are based on previous performance achieved by our workers. Associates are evaluated over a long period of time as we know a variety of things could impact the ability to meet expectations in any given day or hour.”