Up to 300 cameras will be installed above workstations at ASOS’s British-based packing centre before the end of the year and each unit would watch over between 10 and 20 of the 4,000 staff.
Supply chain account director Ken Perritt insisted the cameras were for customer care purposes and said they would “help us to verify and respond swiftly to customer order queries” – but unions and employees aren’t convinced.
“[Management] told us that it’s for ‘customer care’ but we think they’re going to be spying on it,’ one worker told the Evening Standard.
“It’s going to put even more pressure on us to go quicker,” they added. “Everyone feels a bit wary about [the cameras]. It’s going to feel like we’re in Big Brother.”
Union GMB also attacked the move, claiming it was an invasion of privacy and showed “very little dignity and respect” to staff at the distribution centre.
The warehouse hit headlines last year when GMB claimed workers were urinating in the drinking fountain because some were not given time to visit the lavatory. ASOS denied the claims.
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An online retailer that caters to a global customer base has been criticized over its plans to install hundreds of CCTV cameras which – it says – will improve efficiency.