PUBLISHED: 00:00 GMT, 25 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:08 GMT, 25 November 2013
Internet giant Amazon works its warehouse staff ‘to the bone’ in long and relentless shifts, a former employee claimed yesterday.
Graduate Adam Littler, 23, said he walked up to 11 miles as he worked 10-and-a-half hour night shifts inside the online retailer’s giant distribution centre in Swansea.
He was expected to collect a customer order every 33 seconds and told BBC1’s Panorama he was subjected to ‘unbelievable’ pressure to meet efficiency targets.
Amazon staff have previously revealed how they have been tracked by GPS tags inside the company’s eight UK warehouses and even had toilet breaks timed - claims the firm has denied.
One employee at the warehouse - otherwise known as a ‘fulfilment centre’ - in Rugeley, Staffordshire, likened conditions to a ‘slave camp’.
The American company, which employed 15,000 in its UK warehouses in the run-up to last Christmas, is currently approaching its busiest period of the year.
Amazon has denied exploiting staff and said its productivity targets were set according to performance levels achieved by its work force.
But experts, including Professor Michael Marmot, of University College London, have questioned if conditions inside the firm’s giant warehouses could increase workers’ risk of mental or physical illness.
Mr Littler wore a pedometer after he was given a job as a ‘picker’, pushing trolleys around and collecting customers’ orders from the shelves, at Amazon’s 800,000sq ft distribution centre in Swansea.