Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has gone into battle over how Amazon treats its workforce, claiming that a family member of hers left the company amid impossible performance pressures, and that “ shit in bags ” is a common strategy to maintain work speed.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke out when nearly 6,000 Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama, decide whether to form a union – the largest workforce in the online shopping giant’s history.
The Bessemer organization could cause a chain reaction in all of its facilities across the country, with more workers emerging and demanding better working conditions. The vote counting started on Tuesday and could take several days.
AOC joined Democrats, including Bernie Sanders and Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan, who are demanding that the multimillion-dollar technology giant empower workers to form unions to push for better conditions.
The New York congressman tweeted Tuesday night, “ A loved one of mine worked on Amazon delivery last year and left because it was so dangerous for them to work for a company that also puts so much performance pressure on their employees that pooping in bags is a common occurrence. before there are internal memos left. ‘
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, pictured March 18, denounced Amazon’s work practices on Tuesday
Her claim is a common complaint.
The practice of peeing in bottles to maintain workflow in Amazon warehouses is fairly well documented.
Even delivery drivers claim to be under such pressure that relieving the burden comes with the threat of unemployment.
Last week, Rep Pocan made a similar claim against Ocasio-Cortez.
“If you pay employees $ 15 / hour, you’re not a ‘progressive workplace’ if you pick up unions and let employees pee in water bottles,” he said in a tweet Wednesday evening.
Amazon replied to their official Twitter account: ‘You don’t really believe peeing in bottles, do you?
‘If that were true, no one would work for us. The truth is, we have over a million incredible employees around the world who take pride in what they do, and have great wages and healthcare from day one. ‘
Rep. Wisconsin-based Mark Pocan claimed the company was making workers pee in bottles because of a lack of break; he reinforced allegations that Amazon was breaking a union
Amazon’s corporate communications department hit back on Pocan last week
According to Brookings, Amazon and Walmart together brought in about $ 10.7 billion in profits over the course of the pandemic, indicating a 56 percent increase in business – something the institute attributed to Americans spending more on home delivery instead. out of stores to avoid exposure. during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two companies, Brookings said, could have quadrupled compensation for their employees and still made a nice profit compared to the year before.
In addition, by October 2020, Amazon reported that about 20,000 employees were sick from COVID-19 after many employees reported about the hazardous conditions in facilities.
Ocasio-Cortez continued, “Amazon workers in my district organized a meeting with me last year. They were terrified and sobbed because they were left in the dark about COVID exposures at work + finding out through the vine about workplace infections. ‘
Bernie Sanders, Senator for Vermont, tweeted his support for Alabama unionization efforts.
Amazon workers in Alabama are tired of being treated like robots. They get up and fight back, and I’m proud to support them, ”he said.
An Amazon warehouse the workers are trying to organize is displayed in Bessemer, Alabama
Carney, Obama’s press secretary, is now Amazon’s senior vice president for global business affairs
Amazon’s chief of communications Jay Carney, who served as White House press secretary under Barack Obama, replied that at Amazon they “ treat our employees with dignity and respect. ”
He invited Sanders to visit their facilities, noting, “Since there are 40 million Americans earning less than Amazon’s starting pay, we ask you and your colleagues to raise the federal minimum to $ 15 as well.”
Ocasio-Cortez shook off his offer to visit one of their locations, insisting that the visits were always staged and a waste of time.