Ecommerce giant Amazon has apologized to a congressman after falsely denying that some of its employees are sometimes forced to pee in plastic bottles.
The e-commerce giant has also admitted that some of its employees do indeed urinate in bottles, but claimed it is a problem that only its drivers face.
The discussion started last week with a tweet from Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan.
“ Paying employees $ 15 / hour doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you pick up unions and let employees pee in water bottles, ” tweeted Pocan, in clear reference to Amazon’s opposition to attempts to build a large facility in Alabama. to unite.
Amazon’s official account was quick to respond, saying, ‘You don’t really believe peeing in bottles, do you? If that were true, no one would work for us. ‘
But various news outlets then quoted numerous Amazon employees as saying they actually had little choice but to use plastic bottles.
Amazon has apologized for a tweet it sent to a congressman over a week ago, denying that its employees work so hard they have to pee in water bottles
The discussion started last week with a tweet from Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan
And the website The interception said it had obtained internal documents showing Amazon executives were aware of the practice.
The workers’ testimony underscored the complaints of many Amazon employees – both at the processing facilities and among the drivers – about what they say is a relentless pace of work.
“We owe an apology to Representative Pocan,” Amazon said in a statement late Friday.
Initially, Amazon had falsely claimed that their employees did not pee in bottles
Amazon’s apology did not satisfy Pocan, who responded on Twitter on Saturday
The tweet was incorrect. It failed to take into account our large population of drivers and instead falsely focused solely on our fulfillment centers, “each of which had dozens of toilets for employees to use” at any time. “
Amazon continued, “We know drivers can and will have trouble finding restrooms due to traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this was especially true during Covid, when many public restrooms were closed.”
It described the problem as ‘a long-standing, industry-wide problem’ and added, ‘we would like to solve it’.
The apology did not satisfy Pocan, who responded to Twitter on Saturday, saying:
Sigh. This isn’t about me, this is about your employees – who don’t treat you with due respect or dignity.
“Start by recognizing the inadequate working conditions you have created for ALL of your employees, then fix that for everyone, and finally let them unite without interference.”
Amazon admitted that some delivery drivers might have to pee in bottles and promised to improve their working conditions
Amazon wrote in its blog post that urinating in bottles is an industry-wide problem. To try to prove its point, it shared links to news articles about drivers for other delivery companies who needed to do so.
“Regardless of the fact that this is industry wide, we would like to solve it,” the company said. “We don’t know how yet, but we will look for solutions.”
Amazon’s treatment of workers has been a hot topic of late as it has the greatest union pressure in its history at a warehouse in Alabama.
Organizers there are pushing for more breaks and better wages, with many complaining about the grueling 10-hour workdays with just two 30-minute breaks. The result has not yet been announced.
Amazon has successfully fended off union efforts elsewhere in the US, although most of its facilities in Europe are unions.
The company insists that its employees enjoy good wages and benefits by US standards.
The issue was raised after an Amazon executive said the company was a forward-thinking workplace
People hold placards during a protest in support of Amazon workers in Alabama, where workers vote to unite