Amazon has offered a rare public apology – but not to its employees, and with no real admission of guilt.
More than a week ago, the company was caught publicly lying to Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) that its employees never feel the need to pee in water bottles (which in fact a well-documented Amazon issue because of the way it robotically tracks and fires its workers).
Now, late on the Friday night for Easter weekend, when few (hat tip to GeekWire) pay attention to, the company apologizes to Pocan – and no one else. Amazon only apologizes for not being “accurate” enough either – not for actually creating and contributing to situations where employees pee in bottles.
In fact, Amazon goes so far as to suggest that the entire pee bottle is just a regrettable status quo, pointing to a handful of times that other companies’ deliverers were also caught peeing in bottles, adding a handful of random comments. on Twitter who happen to support Amazon’s views. You can almost hear Jeff Bezos say “Why don’t these people blame UPS and FedEx? Instead, let’s get more people thinking. ”
The blog post also strongly suggests that this is only an issue for delivery drivers, not Amazon’s warehouse workers – although a 2018 revelation from an undercover reporter found that Amazon warehouse workers were also forced to skip bathroom breaks, and one employee speaking to journalists . last week proposed bathroom breaks were still a problem in 2021. “You sit there and you have to piss, but you don’t want to earn ‘free time,'” she said Motherboard.
Amazon is also currently facing a lawsuit for missed lunch breaks. Most importantly, all of this is happening in the shadow of an Amazon union vote in Bessemer, Alabama that could help shape the future of labor in the United States, let alone Amazon.
Amazon’s apology to Pocan is the kind of memo that deserves to be annotated line by line, in part because one of the lines is actually pretty good – “Regardless of the fact that this is the entire industry, we’d like to fix it. not how, but will look for solutions ”- but because it is here after 1 am and it shows The edgeI can’t embed tweets with the blockquote tool, I’ll just give you the guts for now:
Last Wednesday the @amazonnews Twitter account tweeted the following back to representative Mark Pocan:
This was an own goal, we are not happy about it and we owe our apologies to Representative Pocan.
First, the tweet was incorrect. It failed to take into account our large population of drivers and instead falsely focused only on our fulfillment centers. A typical Amazon fulfillment center has dozens of toilets, and employees can walk away from their workplace at any time. If an employee in a fulfillment center has a different experience, we encourage them to speak with their manager and work to resolve the issue.
Second, our process was flawed. The tweet was not properly researched. We must hold ourselves to an extremely high accuracy at all times, and that’s especially true when we criticize the comments of others.
Third, we know that drivers can and will have trouble finding restrooms due to traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this was especially the case during Covid, when many public restrooms were closed.
This is a long-standing, industry-wide problem and is not specific to Amazon. We’ve included just a few links below that discuss the issue.
Regardless of the fact that this is industry-wide, we would like to solve it. We don’t know how yet, but we are looking for solutions.
We will continue to speak up if we are misrepresented, but we will also work hard to always be accurate.
Our apologies to Representative Pocan.
You can read the full version hereWhen you are done, you may be able to check out Motherboard‘s interview with six woman Amazon delivery people, for whom the urination situation is clearly much worse.