Rugby Labour candidate calls for 'decent working conditions' at town's new Amazon facility - The Rugby Observer

Rugby Labour candidate calls for 'decent working conditions' at town's new Amazon facility

Andy Morris 31st Jan, 2018 Updated: 5th Feb, 2018   0

LABOUR’S Rugby spokeswoman has called for assurances that the town’s new Amazon facility – announced on Monday – would provide ‘quality employment with decent terms and conditions’.

On Monday January 29, the internet retail giant announced plans for a new fulfilment centre which will create 400 permanent jobs at the Rugby Gateway logistics site just south of the M6.

While welcoming the investment, Rugby Labour’s parliamentary candidate Debbie Bannigan said it was essential the jobs provide ‘decent working conditions’.

Referring to GE Power’s plan to close its Leicester Road Power Conversion site, she said: “With quality jobs at risk elsewhere in the town, Rugby people need new opportunities.

“We’ve all heard the horror stories of warehousing and fulfilment companies placing unreasonable expectations on their workers. I hope Amazon want to do better for the people of Rugby.

Mark Pawsey MP’s uncritical response to Amazon’s announcement shows a lack of understanding that the proposed jobs may not deliver quality opportunities for the people of Rugby.”

Mr Pawsey said he was surprised to learn Ms Bannigan ‘seems opposed to the provision of new employment in the town’.

He added: “Amazon have made it clear employees will receive a number of benefits including private medical insurance, income protection and significant financial support for adult learning courses.

“As Rugby’s MP I will ensure the company delivers what they have promised for the people they employ in my home town.”

In recent years reports have emerged accusing Amazon of poor working conditions at its 16 UK fulfilment centres.

In November, a Sunday Mirror report claimed workers at an Amazon warehouse in Essex were exhausted by long hours and ‘relentless’ targets – with some staff said to have collapsed on the job.

But Amazon rejected any suggestion of poor practice.

A spokeswoman said: “Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace.

“We are proud to have been able to create thousands of new permanent roles in our UK fulfilment centres in recent years. One of the reasons we’ve been able to attract so many people is that we offer great jobs and a positive work environment with opportunities for growth.”

She added employees would receive ‘competitive wages and comprehensive benefits’ including stock grants, life assurance, subsidised meals, an employee discount and a company pension plan.

Recruitment has already begun for roles including operations managers, engineers, HR and IT specialists, while applications for staff who pick, pack and ship customer orders will begin in the coming weeks.

A completion date for the new Rugby centre has not yet been set, but it is due to open later this year.

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