Amazon workers told to work overtime as demand for online shopping surges

David Prior's picture

Workers at Amazon's UK warehouses are being told to work overtime to tackle a huge surge in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the BBC, the GMB union said that workers across at least four different sites were informed they had to work “compulsory overtime” from Monday.

National officer Mick Rix said the online retail giant had put "profit before safety".

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed: "As demand continues to increase, we are working to ensure we can continue to deliver to the most-impacted customers while keeping our people safe".

"Many of these customers have no other way to get essential items and we want to be sure that we have the right resources in place to deliver on their needs.

Amazon, which employs 27,000 people in the UK and has 17 warehouses, will also hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the US to cope with the increased demand, with more and more people turning to online shopping to stock up.

In a blog post, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations Dave Clark, said the company would welcome people who had been working in the hospitality and entertainment industries who are now out of work.