Willie Rennie banned from discussing working conditions with Amazon employees

Willie Rennie values

Willie Rennie, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, has been banned from meeting staff at Amazon’s base in Dunfermline today. He was planning to meet staff there to discuss their working conditions, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute  by Amazon bosses in London.

Willie is campaigning to stop the Scottish Government from giving hand-outs to companies which do not pay their staff at least at the Scottish Living Wage rate of £8.25 an hour. Under the current arrangements, over £5 million has been paid to Amazon in Scotland even though the company is only paying staff £7.20 an hour.

We have this quote from Willie Rennie:

The national minimum wage is not nearly enough to cover life essentials and businesses should be paying their staff at least the Living Wage.

The SNP Government claims to stand up for fair employment but what’s fair about dishing out millions to companies that pay low wages? There is a yawning gap between the SNPs rhetoric on low pay and their action to drive it out.

It is up to businesses to set pay rates but government should not be providing financial support to businesses who fail to pay the Living Wage.

Massive corporations like Amazon should not be rewarded for their failures as employers.  The last minute decision to exclude me from the site confirms my worst concerns about the company.  They are clearly anxious that I will meet workers who may give less than glowing endorsements.

Scottish Liberal Democrats will never dole out government bonuses to big businesses like Amazon that do not pay at least the Living Wage.

Happy employees who are paid enough and valued for their work achieve so much more. They should not be trodden down by the companies that employ them. By reducing the extremes in wealth we will have a much fairer and more equal Scotland.

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9 Comments

  • nigel hunter 21st Mar '16 - 11:01am

    I get fed up of hearing about The Living Wage, it is the minimum wage. The rate is far too low to be a wage that you can LIVE on. A national wage for all to live on should be campaigned for. Amazon is a multi National, has a near monopoly Likewise Google etc all American firms, there is no competition. A laissez faire free market economy only benefits the strong and workers rights can be reduced.

  • Electorally speaking, Willie is onto a winner there. but won’t an orange Booker simply come along and undermine him?

    The SNP are a tartin Tory sham.

    But What are the lib dems? Neo liberals or social democrats?

  • I wish Willie well in his efforts.

    I would welcome information on an ethical alternative to Amazon for book purchase if anyone has any good suggestions.

  • Rabi Martins 21st Mar '16 - 1:41pm

    During the last general election as PPC For Hemel Hempstead I tried to meet management and staff at their depot in the constituency . My request was ignored And when I called at the offices no one would speak to me
    Clearly they have something to hide
    Time for our MPs to table a question in Parliament and expose them me thinks

  • “I would welcome information on an ethical alternative to Amazon…”
    If you haven’t already set up an account on eBay, it’s well worth the initial effort. Think of the most obscure book title you can think of, and type it into an eBay search, and you’re almost guaranteed to find several brand new or good condition used copies. It takes a little more effort but you’ll often find it cheaper, and as long as you buy from someone with a history of 1000+ sales and with a 99% to 100% Positive Feedback, you will not be disappointed.
    To be honest I can’t remember the last time I bought anything via Amazon.

  • I hope Willie stands outside Amazon and talks to the workers in the street about low wages anyway, and then challenges sturgeon to do the same.

    I don’t believe the SNP would take the side of the workers over any large business, the SNP talk a good game. But talk is just talk I believe.

  • @David Raw – David, perhaps try your nearest independent bookshop, they all pay their taxes, and you’ll keep your money in your community. You’ll also be able to browse, take your book away with you and avoid postal costs and couriers slinging your purchases in your front garden in the rain! Sometimes you can have a natter, a coffee and exchange ideas too 🙂

  • Thanks John – agree with you.

    On the eBay matter I gather they only paid £ 620k on £ 1.3 billion profits in 2014.

    Don’t know what happened to Gideon Osborne and his pal Danny’s promise about getting after people like that. I suppose the disabled are a softer target.

  • Thomas Shakespeare 22nd Mar '16 - 5:58pm

    Disgusting stuff. How can Amazon even pretend to give a damn about its workers’ rights? It won’t even let politicians talk to them to help make working conditions better!

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