MPs have attempted to seek assurances from Amazon bosses about job security and workplace safety at the online retailer's new Darlington distribution centre.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman and Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson have sent a joint letter to Doug Gurr, head of Amazon UK, calling for the new site, next to Lingfield Point, to deliver well-paid and secure jobs, as well as training opportunities and career prospects.

The Northern Echo:

Their letter comes on the back of an investigation by the GMB Union which claimed the online retailer was "one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain".

The union described the conditions as "dehumanising", with examples of workers use plastic bottles to urinate in, pregnant women forced to stand for hours on end and being targeted for dismissal, and a situation where 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.

Amazon dispute the findings and say they offer industry-leading pay, benefits, and a safe workplace for their employees.

In the letter, Ms Chapman and Mr Wilson have asked if the firm can confirm how many of the 2,000-plus Darlington workers will be on permanent contracts.

It also states: "We would strongly encourage Amazon to meet with the GMB Union to discuss an agreement. In a modern, progressive workplace, trade unions have an essential role to play in ensuring a professional, productive and safe workplace where everyone benefits.

"We are keen to help in any way we can and would be happy to facilitate such a meeting if this would prove helpful.

"We would welcome commitments from Amazon to assuage our concerns about the job security, workplace safety, training opportunities, and career prospects of future employees and believe a commitment to meet with the GMB Union to discuss the possibility of a trade union recognition agreement."

Amazon is expected to move in later this year