Amazon mumbles ‘sorry’ for denying workers to pee in bottles

A courier unloads packages from Amazon during a delivery on June 18, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

A courier unloads packages from Amazon during a delivery on June 18, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.
Photo: Sean Gallup (fake images)

After lying about the fact that some of his workers under so much pressure forced to relieve themselves in bottles to meet their quotas, Amazon has said i’m sorry in his own very strange way and acknowledged that drivers do indeed do this. He then quickly pointed the finger at other companies like UPS and Uber and said that drivers from those companies do, too.

in a news article Posted late on the Friday before Easter, Amazon apologized to Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, whom it fought in a crazy Twitter blast last week over the problem of peeing in bottles. Pocan was commenting on another random and aggressive response from Amazon’s head of retail Dave Clark, who was fighting Senator Bernie Sanders for not being progressive enough.

“Paying workers $ 15 / hour doesn’t make it a ‘progressive workplace’ when a union breaks and makes workers pee in water bottles,” Few tweeted at the time.

And then even though there’s ample evidence that company workers sadly find themselves in situations that cause them to pee in bottles, Amazon blew up and decided to lie. (In case you’re wondering, a report from Recode indicates that the company’s aggressive communication moves occurred after CEO Jeff Bezos expressed dissatisfaction that Amazon officials weren’t rejecting “inaccurate” or “misleading” criticism strongly enough).

“You really don’t believe in peeing in bottles, do you? If that were true, no one would work for us. The truth is that we have more than a million incredible employees around the world who are proud of what they do and have excellent salaries and healthcare from day one, ”says Amazon News. tweeted back in Pocan. “We hope he can enact policies that make other employers offer what we already do.”

The e-commerce giant’s response puzzled the internet and didn’t win many fans. After sitting at it for a few days, Amazon apparently determined that it wasn’t the company’s best time.

In the news article, Amazon said that its tweet in response to Pocan had been “incorrect” and did not look at its large population of drivers, but instead focused only on employees at its fulfillment centers. The company also added that the tweet did not receive “adequate scrutiny” and did not meet its standards for accuracy.

Both points are moot. It must be said that the employees of the logistics centers not exactly easy to go to the bathroom either. Employees at logistics centers have reported peeing frequently to avoid wasting “free time”, which some workers say can lead to disciplinary action and even dismissal. per motherboard.

However, Amazon denies this and says that in its fulfillment centers employees can go to the bathroom at any time. Considering that some employees claim they don’t even receive breaks to eat or rest Due to the amount of work the company puts into them, that claim is a bit hard to believe.

Now, this is where Amazon acknowledged the problem its drivers face on the highway that forces them to pee in bottles, but does not acknowledge their role in this at all, instead opting to attribute it to traffic, rural routes, and the pandemic. However, there was nothing in the company’s statement about the workload it puts on its drivers: the motherboard indicates that the drivers usually deliver 300 packages a day in a 10-hour shift—And the consequences they face, including disciplinary action and termination, if they don’t meet their productivity quotas.

“[W]We know that drivers can have trouble finding restrooms due to traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this has been especially the case during Covid, when many public restrooms were closed, ”Amazon wrote. “This is a long-standing problem that affects the entire industry and is not specific to Amazon.”

The company added that although it was an industry-wide problem, it wanted to solve it, but did not yet know how to do it.

As if denying any responsibility wasn’t enough, Amazon then points the finger at other companies, such as Uber and UPS, whose drivers have apparently also had relieve themselves in bottles or other containers. It includes links to nine links to stories from other media outlets, and even the Pew Charitable Trust, about Uber, UPS and other companies, and includes a handful of tweets from people sympathetic to their plight.

It’s honestly not a fancy move from Amazon here. These companies are in the spotlight right now because of a tweet war they started (yet who knows what the future holds). And if this is supposed to be an apology, it doesn’t exactly make sense to start saying, “Well, other companies do, too,” instead of acknowledging their mistakes. However, this is not to say that these companies do not deserve scrutiny.

But the biggest mistake in Amazon’s strange apology was probably the people it didn’t apologize to: its workers being forced to relieve themselves in bottles and, frankly, anything other than a proper toilet. These are the people who deprive themselves of food and water while driving through Amazon to avoid going to the bathroom, these are the people who are forced to urinate and defecate in extreme conditions, these are people who accept being treated with less dignity for fear of losing their jobs. It is a fear that Amazon has created.

These are the people who deserved an apology. Pocan, the person who actually received it, made the same call in a Twitter post on Saturday.

“Sigh. It’s not about me, it’s about your workers, whom you don’t treat with enough respect or dignity,” he wrote. “Start by acknowledging the inadequate working conditions you’ve created for ALL of your workers, then fix that for everyone and finally, let them unionize without interference. “

You can read the one from Amazon full apology here.


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