Leeds City Council accused of ‘hypocrisy’ over Amazon warehouse ownership

Coun Stewart Golton, Leader of the Leeds Liberal Democrats
Coun Stewart Golton, Leader of the Leeds Liberal Democrats
Have your say

LEEDS City council has been accused of “hyprocisy” over its ownership of an Amazon warehouse amid claims of poor working conditions.

Coun Stewart Golton, leader of the Leeds Lib Dem group, criticised the council in a white paper due to be presented at today’s (Weds Sept 14) full council meeting

The council bought the warehouse at the Logic Leeds business park next to junction 45 the M1 for £6.25 million earlier this year.

The building is currently leased to Amazon for use as a delivery station for Amazon Logistics.

Coun Golton wrote in the White paper: “Council notes that a BBC investigation into a UK based Amazon warehouse found conditions that a stress expert said could cause ‘physical and mental illness’ and supports the GMB campaign for improved working conditions at Amazon warehouses.

“Council believes it is hypocritical for the Labour administration to have purchased the Amazon warehouse at Logic Leeds without making any efforts to improve working conditions for employees at that site and that having done so undermines the strong economy compassionate city strategy.

“Council therefore calls on the Labour administration to use its position as landlord to secure improved working conditions for employees at the Amazon facility at Logic Leeds.”

Coun Richard Lewis of Leeds City Council, said: “As a council we expect good employment practices from businesses in Leeds irrespective of which building they occupy. We’ll work with businesses where we can to achieve this, including Amazon.”

Amazon said the BBC programme referred to by Coun Golton was broadcast in 2013.

“The Amazon website states: “Amazon employees do not have zero hour contracts. We pay competitive wages to ensure that we are able to attract and retain the best talent.”

The website also states: “We care for and value our employees and maintain a culture of direct dialogue with them.”