Amazon Apologizes to Rep. Pocan Acknowledging their "Drivers Peeing in Bottle"
Amazon issued an apology addressed to Democratic Representative Pocan in their Blogspot, acknowledging their workers' issue of urinating in bottles during their delivery. The apology of the company follows their exchange of tweets with the representative criticizing them regarding the company's workplace.
Paying workers $15/hr doesn't make you a "progressive workplace" when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles. https://t.co/CnFTtTKA9q— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 25, 2021
Representative Mark Pocan noted in his tweet that an hourly wage of $15 does not make the company a "progressive workplace," as well as union-busting and making workers pee in plastic bottles. Amazon rebutted in Pocan's tweet, challenging the representative to ratify policies like what their company offers their employees.
Amazon's Apology to Representative Pocan
Prior to their apology, Amazon has initially denied that their drivers were sometimes forced to urinate in bottles during their delivery. However, their recent post in their Blogspot acknowledged the practice as they address their apology to the democratic representative. "First, this tweet is incorrect. It did not contemplate our large driver population," said Amazon adding that their company narrowed to only their fulfillment centers.
Amazon also noted that their employees are encouraged to voice out a different experience in their fulfillment center so that the company may be able to fix it. Amazon emphasized that their typical fulfillment center has restrooms. The company has said that the issue is industry-wide, according to a Reuters report. However, Amazon noted that they do not still know how they will address the issue, but they will look for solutions.
Amazon also stated that they know that their drivers are having difficulty finding restrooms due to traffic or sometimes rural routes. The company emphasized that these instances are evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when many public toilets have been closed.
In 2018, an author went undercover at an Amazon fulfillment center in Britain and said that workers in the area urinated in bottles. This was done out of the employees' fear of bathroom breaks costing their job, according to a Cnet report.
Sigh.— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) April 3, 2021
This is not about me, this is about your workers—who you don't treat with enough respect or dignity.
Start by acknowledging the inadequate working conditions you've created for ALL your workers, then fix that for everyone & finally, let them unionize without interference. https://t.co/tdIns0AR66
Despite the apology that Amazon has issued to the Democratic representative, Pocan quoted a Tweet arguing that the issue is not about him. Pocan emphasized that Amazon should start by acknowledging the inadequate working conditions of their employees. Pocan also noted that the company should let their worker "unionize" without interfering.
Amazon and Other Issues
Amazon did not receive backlash only from the issue of letting their workers pee in plastic bottles.
The company received backlash earlier in the year for AI-equipped cameras installed in their vans to monitor their drivers and confirm their identities. However, the company argued that the cameras installed will only be used as a safety measure.
Some critics have also claimed that Amazon does not pay enough taxes amid accusations of mistreating its workers. Addressing their apology, Amazon noted that they will continue to speak out whenever they are misrepresented. However, they pointed out that they will also work hard to be accurate at all times.
WATCH: Why are Amazon workers avoiding restrooms and peeing in bottles? - from TRT World
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