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Davy51

Panorama, behind the click,

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was highlighting some of what might not be good when working for a high profile distribution company like Amazon. According to an expert ,employees were expected to perform tasks & get results that were arguably out of reach while being intimidated by the company disciplinary system which could turn what were bright eyed ,bushy tailed agency workers into stressed out failures within 2 months ,having been sacked for not meeting company standards of output. Walking nearly 11 miles a night was alleged to be easily possible in the course of & on top of performing the workers otherwise highly stressful job of picking orders which was controlled by a hand held pc terminal which delivered its instructions with aggression & unrelenting regularity.

 

Sadly ,this is just the tip of the iceberg of sharp practises within modern business & has been made easier by the advent of agencies ,zero hours ,& the demise of the unions ,who may at least have tempered these excesses.

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Didn't see the programme and some of what you describe sounds bad. But it is only to be expected after the years we had of just the opposite - companies afraid to discipline workers for fear of strikes, etc.  Trouble is we have got used to living in a society where discipline no longer exists - at home, at work or even in organisations like the police and armed forces. So it is quite likely that some of the treatment handed out to employees is not as bad as alleged - simply normal discipline which 50 years ago would have been accepted as normal.

At the peak of their powers, unions were worse than the bosses, so we don't want them back!

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Observer:  By "we" I mean society in general.

Davy51: I agree - but at present we need to move a tad back towards discipline.

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Thought TU members were members of "society in general" too?! TU's were formed in the first place to fight the exploitation by employers; our history is strewn with examples from the Tolpuddle Mayrtrs on. We had a brief period where TU's were used politically by some, in which they had the upper hand. We've now seen a return to the previous levels of exploitation. And while this class warfare has been raging in the UK; Germany and others have shown, that it is quite possible for employers and unions to work together, to improve both their interests.

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Unfortunately,the only protection workers have at present is the working time directive which will disappear if we leave the EU ,but that only applies to limiting hours worked. The use of agency staff has really diluted the influence of the unions.

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