Amazon Busting: Amazon’s myths about its unsafe warehouses and management by algorithm

Towards the end of last year, Amazon sent one of its top bosses for Europe, Brian Palmer, to London to speak to the British parliament about working conditions in their warehouses in the UK.

We were very interested to see what he said, given our work with Amazon workers in their battle for decent pay and fair and safe working environment.

Unfortunately, the evidence Palmer gave was, at best, misleading and at worst deceptive.

No wonder that shortly after his appearance, workers in a Coventry warehouse voted for the first-ever strike in a UK Amazon ‘fulfilment centre’ or ‘FC’ (Bezos jargon for warehouse), after inspirational organising work by the GMB union. The strike will take place on January 25.

But alongside that incredibly brave action by workers, we think it’s important that Amazon is not allowed to make misleading claims to parliament about the situation in their warehouses uncontested.

So we put together a briefing for the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee of MPs (where Palmer gave his testimony) pointing out the specific details in which his evidence was misleading.

As a result of our briefing, the committee is now discussing whether to haul Palmer back to Westminster to explain himself.

Committee member Andy McDonald, Labour MP for Middlesbrough, told the Reuters news agency: “We were extremely unhappy with his testimony. If somebody comes before the Committee and misleads us, they are duty-bound to correct the record.”

You can read or download our full briefing below and judge for yourself whether Palmer should be recalled to answer the allegation of misleading parliament.

Read the evidence annexes referred to in the briefing below: