AN MP has claimed it would be naive to suggest "Victorian" working conditions at Amazon fulfilment centres will not be replicated at their new Darlington site, after a union warned the online retailer was "one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain".

An investigation by the GMB Union has revealed what they described as the "dehumanising work conditions" at Amazon distribution centres, including workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious and taken away in ambulances, and pregnant women workers are treated appallingly.

The Northern Echo:

Since 2015/16, more than 600 reports have been made from Amazon warehouses to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), according to GMB, and there have been more than 600 ambulance call-outs to Amazon warehouses over the past three years.

Amazon dispute the findings, but Darlington MP Jenny Chapman said GMB has uncovered "appalling working conditions for 21st century Britain, whilst Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson called on the firm to work with the union, adding: "What have they got to hide?"

Ms Chapman also said she would like to do a shift at Darlington's new centre to experience the working conditions for herself.

GMB members have reported targets being so demanding they have to use plastic bottles to urinate in instead of going to the toilet, and pregnant women have been forced to stand for hours on end, and some pregnant women have been targeted for dismissal.

It has been reported to GMB that women have had miscarriages at more than one Amazon fulfilment centre whilst at work. In one horrendous case, it has been reported to GMB that a woman had a miscarriage at work, an ambulance was not called, and she went home on the bus, with her co-associates in blood stained clothes.

The Northern Echo:

Ms Chapman said: "It would be naive to think these Victorian working conditions won't happen in Darlington when we have heard reporters in other centres, but the Darlington site offers a fresh start for the company. As soon as we hear any reports, they have to be challenged.

"I would like to do a shift so I can speak to workers about what the conditions are really like."

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: “Amazon workers want Jeff Bezos to know they are people – not robots. It's time for him to show empathy with the very people that have helped to contribute to his vast and increasing personal fortune."

A spokesperson for Amazon said: "Events like Prime Day have become an opportunity for our critics to raise awareness for their cause.

"These groups are conjuring misinformation to work in their favour, when in fact we already offer the things they purport to be their cause — industry-leading pay, benefits, and a safe workplace for our employees.

"We can only conclude that the people who attend the events are simply not informed. We encourage everyone to book a tour of one of our fulfilment centres and compare our overall pay, benefits, and workplace environment to other retailers and major employers across the country.”