‘Help me:’ Note tucked into Amazon package calls out U.K. staffing agency

U.K. teen April Dorsett got a makeup advent calendar in an Amazon delivery and this note. 

A 13-year-old girl in the U.K. received a surprise message with her Christmas package from Amazon.

According to a Facebook post by her mother, April Dorsett’s parents ordered her a makeup advent calendar that was supposed to include a note that said ‘love from mom and dad.”

Instead, someone had written “Help me please, PMP staff are evil” on the invoice included in the package.

PMP is a temporary employment agency in the U.K. that Amazon uses to meet its needs for large numbers of relatively low-wage staff in its massive warehouses, especially during the peak holiday season.

“I thought it must be a prank and I was overreacting, but then people pointed out all the stories about Amazon lately,” said April’s mother Kim in an interview.

“This is quite worrying. It's the sort of thing you hear about happening in sweatshops in China.”

In a statement to the Daily Mirror, PMP said:

“PMP Recruitment employs over 100,000 people across a range of clients, many of whom have stayed with us for a number of years or return each year during our peak trading period, so we do not recognise the comment made as being an accurate or fair representation of the employee experience we provide. We provide various channels to raise concerns, including a confidential helpline, and have not received any complaints of this nature.

“We do, however, take such comments extremely seriously and will be investigating in conjunction with our client.”

Amazon’s U.K. warehouses, which are not unionized, were also in the spotlight recently after a Daily Mirror journalist went undercover at one of them. He found workers falling asleep on their feet after working up to 55 hours a week. He writes that one of his colleagues was taken away in an ambulance after collapsing, while another was rushed away suffering from a panic attack after learning about the compulsory overtime schedule over the holiday season.

In Germany and France, Amazon warehouse workers went on strike on Black Friday to protest low wages, according to several labour unions.

In Canada, Amazon currently operates four warehouses in the GTA and two in the Vancouver area. Last month, the company held a hiring fair in Brampton, seeking 3,800 candidates to fill seasonal roles in their so-called Fulfillment Centres.

Amazon workers are not the only ones crying for help by slipping notes directly to customers.

Last month, Zara customers found messages attached to their purchases that Turkish garment workers had not been paid for their work, nor did they receive any severance when their factory abruptly shut down. Zara’s parent company subsequently started a fund for the affected workers.