Union leader attacks Amazon depot which “locked up” drivers

Union leaders attacked Amazon for their treatment of workers

AMAZON’S controversial Dunfermline distribution centre has come under further attack by union leaders.

Last week it was revealed that delivery drivers to the Fife depot were accusing Amazon of locking them in an empty room while their lorries were unloaded.

But Scottish Trade Unions Congress assistant secretary, Stephen Boyd, has hit out at the Scottish Government for supporting the online retailers when it refuses to recognise unions.

The site, next to the M90, has already received more than £9 million in grants from Scottish Enterprise and is expected to boost the local economy by providing 1000 jobs.

But Mr Boyd said: “If we’re giving grants to the Amazons and the Ryanairs of this world then we want these jobs to be sustainable and we want these jobs to be decent.

“Simply shouting about 1000 new jobs in the Scottish economy is not going to cut it in the long term.

“We’ve seen over the last few years a couple of significant investments into Scotland from what we would describe as some of the worst employers.


“We’re providing grants to these companies to set up inScotlandbut we have to start stipulating that we expect minimum returns in terms of employment standards.”

The company has previously come under attack by trade unionists over working conditions.

In 2007 a row broke out centred on the firm’sGreenockbase, with the GMB accusing Amazon of taking advantage of the fact people were “desperate for jobs”.

But Tony Martin, who heads Fife Council’s environment, enterprise and transport committee disagreed, saying that companies who recognise trade unions do not always make better employers.

He said: “Some employers recognise trade unions and the trade unions spend all their time fighting with them, not to the benefit of the employees.”

Dunfermline MSP Bill Walker said the “fundamentally disagreed” with Mr Boyd’s comments.

He said: “I have had many dealings with Amazon and have always found them to be a good employer who have shown a clear intention of long-term investment in Dunfermline.

“I am afraid this comment is too typical of a certain type of union leader who is too quick to criticise companies if they hear anything negative about them.”

Yesterday an Amason spokesman said: “Every Amazon employee in Scotland works with dedication and diligence to ensure we deliver to customers.

“Our talented work force is highly valued and we take the wellbeing of all our employees very seriously.”