The GMB has criticised Amazon for its treatment of employees, after the online retail giant said it was ensuring it was putting the right resources in place to meet delivery demands.
The GMB has said that employees across at least four different sites have been informed that they will need to work compulsory overtime from Monday.
Mick Rix, national officer at GMB said Amazon has put “profit before safety”, after it told employees they needed to work more hours to keep up with demands caused by the coronavirus.
An unnamed member of staff at Amazon told the BBC that staff in the “inbound goods” department are already having additional hours imposed.
The employee said that there has been extra pressure recently due to an influx of products like hand-wash, diapers, and large boxes of food goods like rice.
A spokesperson for Amazon UK said: “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.
“Starting this week, we’ll be prioritising the intake and dispatch of items most needed by our customers right now. These are items such as food, health and personal care products, items needed to work from home, books and toys for children.”
However, GMB’s Rix has hit out and said that the news of the overtime is “extremely concerning”, and has argued that Amazon is “imposing its demands on workers without any regard for their safety”.
The company has said that it will temporarily pause the restocking of “non-essential items”, to free up space for household supplies and medical items, in response to increased demand.