An undercover reporter from The Mirror newspaper has revealed what it is like to work at an Amazon fulfillment centre. The picture that emerges raises some disturbing questions about the world's biggest online retailer and its work culture.
Reporter Alan Selby who worked for five weeks at Amazon's newest warehouse in Tilbury, Essex, describes the work as "relentless".
He said, "I had nine seconds to grab and process an item to be sent for packing – a target of 300 items an hour, for hour after relentless hour.
"Cameras watched my every move and a screen in front of me offers constant reminders of my ''units per hour'' and exactly how long each has taken.
He spent five weeks at the firm's newest warehouse in Tilbury, Essex, armed with a secret camera he bought from Amazon's own website.
Even as Amazon UK claims it provides a ''safe and positive workplace'', according to the report, a whiteboard of staff comments was full to the brim of complaints.
One staff member asked bosses: ''Why are we not allowed to sit when it is quiet and not busy? We are human beings, not slaves and animals.''
Another said: ''I expected it to be all modern and powered by robots in here, but my eyes are wide open now.''
Other workers complained about dirty toilets and short breaks, facing shifts that run from 7.30 am to 6 pm.