Amazon admits its drivers sometimes have to pee in bottles

Amazon has posted an apology to Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) for a tweet very last week denying that it tends to make its staff urinate in drinking water bottles.

The controversy started with a tweet by Pocan blasting Amazon for its treatment of workers—a topic of individual public curiosity as personnel at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama had been voting on regardless of whether to unionize.

“Paying out staff $15/hr would not make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in h2o bottles,” Pocan wrote.

“You really don’t truly believe that the peeing in bottles factor, do you?” Amazon responded on March 24. “If that were being correct, nobody would function for us.”

Recode’s Jason Del Rey reviews that Amazon’s aggressive reaction was inspired by CEO Jeff Bezos, who experienced been frustrated Amazon wasn’t pushing back again really hard sufficient towards its critics.

But the tweet turned into a PR fiasco for Amazon. The upcoming day, Vice published a tale with the headline “Amazon Denies Staff Pee in Bottles. In this article Are the Pee Bottles.” It incorporated a picture of bottles with an Amazon worker’s urine in them.

Vice noted that this was a widespread matter of discussion on the r/AmazonDSPDrivers subreddit. There are “dozens of threads and hundreds of responses” with motorists lamenting their need to have to pee in bottles, hedges, and other items moreover a toilet.

“The tweet was incorrect”

Now Amazon has changed its tune. “The tweet was incorrect,” Amazon admitted on its website. “It did not ponder our massive driver population and rather wrongly concentrated only on our fulfillment centers.”

Amazon suggests that “a typical Amazon achievement middle has dozens of restrooms, and workforce are equipped to stage away from their get the job done station at any time.”

Having said that, the organization acknowledged that this is just not always real for its shipping and delivery drivers.

“We know that drivers can and do have problems obtaining restrooms simply because of site visitors or occasionally rural routes, and this has been in particular the scenario for the duration of Covid when a lot of general public restrooms have been shut,” Amazon wrote.

“This is a prolonged-standing, marketplace-vast issue and is not unique to Amazon,” the business additional. Amazon states it would like to address the dilemma: “We do not nonetheless know how, but will look for solutions.”

Amazon seems to be suitable about that. Motorists for Uber, Lyft, and food items shipping solutions have described hassle finding bogs though on the job. Motorists for UPS and FedEx have reported comparable complications. The issue has gotten worse in the very last yr as the pandemic has shut a huge amount of retailers and restaurants.

Amazon has been on the defensive in modern weeks as staff at its Bessemer fulfillment middle vote on creating a union. Voting closed before this week, but the Countrywide Labor Relations Board has not still introduced the effects. The stakes are large for Amazon, considering the fact that a profitable vote could give a boost to related endeavours in other segments of Amazon’s vast workforce. Amazon has additional than 1.1 million personnel.

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