'Just Walk Out' or 'Just Don't Walk In'?
Gaynor Lloyd has written, in a personal capacity, about her thoughts on Amazon opening its Amazon Fresh cashier-less store store in Wembley Park, following concerns expressed by other councillors.
I totally understand from the below there is nothing the Council can do about choice of tenants by a commercial landlord (I assume not Council property!)
I hadn't heard about the store: Amazon Fresh. I've
just had a quick look on the net – though not sure where it actually is. LINK
I suppose what I'd be worried about - apart from all the really important things [another Councillor] highlights, as to the operation behind any Amazon outlet - is it seems to be a store with potential for fewer front facing staff. Certainly no check out - which is where we were going with self-service checkouts (sadly - IMO - for all sorts of reasons - but other views exist) – but thinking of reduced employment opportunities. Yes, I know we have COVID but we already have enough stuff introduced under COVID regs altering our society and there are cases already being made at Government level as to whether they will/should stay in place.
I suppose the practical thing is to make clear (as I am sure the Council does do) its support for unions as well as London Living Wage, etc in the workplace in our businesses - but how many staff does it employ?
with Amazon's power and tech and resources to "price"? (Their hours are 7 days a week,7am-11pm).
As to Amazon's background operation, it's so good to have the GMB petition ; it'd be good to know what progress the GMB is making with Amazon; their "intention to go to the Health & Safety Executive" highlighted in this article links to a fairly old (aargh) Daily Mail article. LINK Does anyone know?
And thank goodness we are not America (yet) in Amazon's union thwarting activities! LINK
For employees, though, like every other business, what we need to ensure is that more people know about the employer's responsibility for Health & Safety. The Brent website is clear LINK , and there's an email address (would be good to have a phone number too, advertised by poster campaigns - so not limited according to access to digital) LINK
The Council – OF COURSE - showed an excellent example, when schools were first going back and many people had real anxieties; it liaised with the Unions and there was a dedicated team who cared about getting the risk assessments right. I know we don't have that control over businesses in our Borough but we can still make it clear what the Borough expects. It's not as though Amazon doesn't have the money to provide top end solutions to whatever a proper risk assessment has revealed as necessary. Hopefully, as in the case of the store, as Amazon did their fit-out, all this will have been at the top of their agenda. We are entitled to assume it was.
Not everyone will use Amazon of course! ( I was sharing ideas with a pal only yesterday evening about how to avoid but that is a matter of personal choice. )