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Amazon: ‘Technology has benefited us to support our employees’

Amazon site leader John McEwen

Amazon has praised the advancements in technology which have allowed the ecommerce giant to support its employees.

Speaking to InternetRetailing at the Amazon LCY3 site in Dartford, site leader John McEwen said: “Technology has allowed us to support not only our customers but also our employees to create more opportunities across the UK and Europe.

Earlier this year CEO Andy Jassy warned that generative AI would be a “big deal” for the business moving forward. As a result, the Dartford site, has “heavily invested” in the software on its robotics floor.

According to McEwen, who has been with the Elite retailer since 2015, the increased use of AI has allowed the facility to become a “more safer and efficient environment”

He said: “We use AI on our robotics floor. It helps map our most efficient routes for our pods to get to our employees.”

Despite the increased use of AI and emerging technology, McEwen shuts down ideas of job losses, instead, he claimed the company’s use of the software has created a “wide variety of jobs” and helped it deliver “more to customers in a shorter amount of time”.

The comments come as trade union GMB recently accused the ecommerce giant of playing “dirty tricks” after it was forced to withdraw its bid for recognition.

The union has claimed the ecommerce giant has gone on a “massive recruitment drive” following the request for recognition and alleged that company was paying an additional 1,300 workers “to try to bust the union”.

“We offer competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, and opportunities for career growth, all while working in a safe, modern, work environment,” a spokesperson told InternetRetailing.

“At Amazon, these benefits and opportunities come with the job, as does the ability to communicate directly with the leadership of the company.

According to McEwen, employees have “the right to choose whether or not they want to join a union. However, we benefit from our direct relationship with our employees”

“We thrive off getting direct feedback from our employees and review concerns daily to make sure we can improve the working experience,” he concluded.

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Amazon is ranked as an Elite retailer in RXUK Top500 research, which highlights how the leaders in this market are proving flexible and adaptable in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and the knock-on effects from rising energy costs leading to inflation.

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