US: Amazon slammed for warehouse working conditions
Date: 28 Sep 2011
Amazon has been accused of subjecting workers to 'sweatshop conditions' at its warehouse in Pennsylvania where employees have complained of unbearable temperatures, high pressure and mandatory overtime.
Employees were frequently fired if their productivity suffered under the brutal conditions, and things got so bad the company had paramedics parked outside to treat stressed or dehydrated workers.
According to local paper The Morning Call, an emergency room doctor alerted the authorities when he treated a number of workers from the same Amazon warehouse. Temporary workers were alleged to have borne the main brunt of the conditions, being 'worked harder' than other groups.
Amazon has responded to the claims to note that the year had seen record hot temperatures that were not the norm for its east coast centers. It is aiming to install air conditioning to these centers considering the possibility that such events may become more frequent in the future.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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