“We don’t think for ourselves, maybe they don’t trust us to think for ourselves as human beings, I don’t know.”
Prof Marmot, one of Britain’s leading experts on stress at work, said the working conditions at the warehouse are “all the bad stuff at once”.
He said: “The characteristics of this type of job, the evidence shows increased risk of mental illness and physical illness.”
“There are always going to be menial jobs, but we can make them better or worse. And it seems to me the demands of efficiency at the cost of individual’s health and wellbeing – it’s got to be balanced.”
Amazon said that official safety inspections had not raised any concerns and that an independent expert appointed by the company advised that the picking job is “similar to jobs in many other industries and does not increase the risk of mental and physical illness”.
The scanner tracked Mr Littler’s picking rate and sent his performance to managers. If it was too low, he was told he could face disciplinary action.
When Mr Littler worked night shifts his pay rose from the daily rate of £6.50 per hour to £8.25 per hour.
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