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Amazon warehouse workers in the United Kingdom "urinated in bottles", finds the undercover author

  amazon warehouse worker
Reuters / Lucas Jackson

  • An undercover author told The Sun that workers in an Amazon warehouse in the UK "urinated in bottles" because they were afraid to walk to a bathroom would make them lose targets.
  • The author, James Bloodworth, discovered that the staff members feared being disciplined for "downtime."
  • A separate survey of Amazon workers released on Monday revealed that those who reported feeling sick, even during pregnancy, were penalized for not showing up or taking breaks.
  • Amazon said that I do not acknowledge the allegations as an accurate description of the conditions of work in the warehouse.
  • The company challenged the survey findings and said it was not time to go to the bathroom.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos may be the richest person in the world with a value of around $ 112 billion (£ 78 billion), but at least some of those who work on the floor of his deposits are apparently So desperate to keep their jobs that they do not even take the time to use a bathroom.

Author James Bloodworth was secret from an Amazon repository in Staffordshire, United Kingdom, for a book on low wages in Britain. He discovered that the warehouse's compliance workers, who walk through Amazon's huge warehouses that collect the products for delivery, had a "toilet bottle" system because the toilets were too scarce to reach quickly.

"For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were on four flights of stairs," Bloodworth told The Sun. "People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being disciplined during the 'downtime' and losing their jobs just because they needed the toilet."

It is known that Amazon keeps track of how quickly workers in your warehouse can pick up and package items from their shelves, imposing tightly scheduled breaks and objectives. Issues warning points for those who do not meet their objectives or who take extended breaks.

An independent survey found that almost three-quarters of the center's staff members were afraid to use the bathroom for reasons of time. A report published Monday with the results of the survey said that 241 employees of Amazon stores in England were interviewed.

The survey anonymously quoted one of those workers as saying that the targets had "dramatically increased" and that "I do not drink water because I do not have time to go to the bathroom."

Another said: "The goal grows every year, I still do not have two more legs to do 100% to pick up, where I really need to run and go to the bathroom only during the break." Packing 120 products per hour is terribly heavy.

"You have to pack two products per minute. He does not have time to drink water because he goes to the bathroom every night he sends messages to the scanner with the aim and tells him to hurry up. "

The survey, compiled by the organizing worker's campaign platform, also found that the workers felt considerably more anxious after joining Amazon.

Workers say they have been punished for being sick

Another employee said she was sick during pregnancy and was still given a warning.

And another said: "I showed up for my shift even though I felt like … I managed for 2 hours and then I could not take it anymore." I told my supervisor and I was discharged, I had a failure Gastric (illness and diarrhea, very bad) saw my doctor, he received a note of illness with an explanation, but he still had an attack. "

Amazon disputed the allegations. The company said in a statement to Business Insider:

"Amazon offers a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people across the UK with competitive payments and benefits from the first day. We have not been provided with confirmation of that the people who completed the survey worked on Amazon and we do not recognize these accusations as an accurate description of the activities in our buildings.

"We focused on ensuring that we provide an excellent environment for all our employees and last month, Amazon It was named by LinkedIn as the seventh most wanted place to work in the United Kingdom and the first place in the US. UU Amazon also offers public visits to its fulfillment centers so that customers can see first-hand what happens after clicking on & # 39; buy & # 39; on Amazon. "

Amazon said they did not have time to go to the bathroom and set their performance goals based on worker performance, the company said it provided training to help people improve and used" proper discretion "when it came of absences due to illness and absences from work.

The company also said that it provided support in physical therapy and occupational health on the site, as well as legal, financial, and workplace guidance.

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