The TUC has criticised the government as up to £630m of taxpayers’ money has been spent on contracts with tech giant Amazon over the last five years – despite its poor record on workers’ rights.
The new analysis, conducted for the Trades Union Congress and the GMB union, found that in 2020 alone Amazon has been given contracts worth over £23m, including several in Test and Trace valued at £8.3m.
The trade union federation is now urging the government to put pressure on Amazon via its upcoming employment bill and “level up” conditions amid accusations that the company badly mistreats its workers.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is a key test for the government’s levelling up agenda. If ministers are serious about improving lives, they must help ‘level up’ working conditions at places like Amazon.
“Amazon workers have played a key role during this pandemic. But many are treated like disposable labour. That is not right. Public contracts should not reward bad working practices.