Amazon admits its drivers generally must pee in bottles

Patrick

Amazon has posted an apology to Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) for a tweet final week denying that it makes its employees urinate in water bottles.

The controversy began with a tweet by Pocan blasting Amazon for its remedy of employees—a subject of specific public curiosity as employees at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama had been voting on whether or not to unionize.

“Paying employees $15/hr does not make you a ‘progressive office’ if you union-bust & make employees urinate in water bottles,” Pocan wrote.

“You do not actually imagine the peeing in bottles factor, do you?” Amazon responded on March 24. “If that had been true, no person would work for us.”

Recode’s Jason Del Rey reviews that Amazon’s aggressive response was inspired by CEO Jeff Bezos, who had been annoyed Amazon wasn’t pushing again onerous sufficient in opposition to its critics.

However the tweet became a PR fiasco for Amazon. The following day, Vice revealed a narrative with the headline “Amazon Denies Employees Pee in Bottles. Right here Are the Pee Bottles.” It included a photograph of bottles with an Amazon employee’s urine in them.

Vice famous that this was a typical matter of debate on the r/AmazonDSPDrivers subreddit. There are “dozens of threads and tons of of feedback” with drivers lamenting their must pee in bottles, hedges, and different issues in addition to a rest room.

“The tweet was incorrect”

Now Amazon has modified its tune. “The tweet was incorrect,” Amazon admitted on its web site. “It didn’t ponder our massive driver inhabitants and as an alternative wrongly centered solely on our achievement facilities.”

Amazon says that “a typical Amazon achievement heart has dozens of restrooms, and workers are capable of step away from their work station at any time.”

Nonetheless, the corporate acknowledged that this is not at all times true for its supply drivers.

“We all know that drivers can and do have hassle discovering restrooms due to site visitors or generally rural routes, and this has been particularly the case throughout Covid when many public restrooms have been closed,” Amazon wrote.

“This can be a long-standing, industry-wide difficulty and isn’t particular to Amazon,” the corporate added. Amazon says it needs to resolve the issue: “We do not but know the way, however will search for options.”

Amazon seems to be proper about that. Drivers for Uber, Lyft, and meals supply companies have reported hassle discovering loos whereas on the job. Drivers for UPS and FedEx have reported comparable difficulties. The issue has gotten worse within the final 12 months because the pandemic has closed a lot of shops and eating places.

Amazon has been on the defensive in current weeks as employees at its Bessemer achievement heart vote on making a union. Voting closed earlier this week, however the Nationwide Labor Relations Board has not but introduced the outcomes. The stakes are excessive for Amazon, since a profitable vote might improve comparable efforts in different segments of Amazon’s huge workforce. Amazon has greater than 1.1 million employees.



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