E-commerce giant Amazon has apologized to an US legislator after falsely denying that a few of its chauffeurs are forced sometimes to urinate in plastic bottles.
The flap started recently with a tweet from Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin.
” Paying workers $15/hr does not make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make employees urinate in water bottles,” Pocan tweeted, in an obvious reference to Amazon’s opposition to efforts to unionize a major center in Alabama.
Amazon’s official account quickly responded, stating: “You don’t actually believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, no one would work for us.”
But several news media then cited various Amazon employees who stated they had, in truth, been entrusted little choice however to use plastic bottles.
And the website The Intercept stated it had actually obtained internal files revealing Amazon executives were aware of the practice.
The workers’ testimony highlighted the problems of lots of Amazon workers– both in its processing centers and amongst its chauffeurs– about what they say is an unrelenting work speed.
” We owe an apology to Agent Pocan,” Amazon said in a statement late Friday.
” The tweet was inaccurate. It did not consider our large motorist population and instead mistakenly focused just on our satisfaction centers,” each of which, it said, had lots of bathrooms that employees might use “at any time.”
Amazon continued: “We understand that chauffeurs can and do have problem discovering washrooms due to the fact that of traffic or in some cases rural paths, and this has been specifically the case throughout Covid when numerous public toilets have been closed.”
A truck bearing Amazon’s logo design is seen on a highway in the southern US state of Alabama on March 26, 2021 AFP/ Patrick T. FALLON
It explained the issue as “an enduring, industry-wide issue,” including, “we would like to resolve it.”
The apology did not satisfy Pocan, who responded Saturday on Twitter, saying:
” Sigh. This is not about me, this is about your employees– who you do not treat with sufficient regard or self-respect.
” Start by acknowledging the insufficient working conditions you’ve developed for ALL your employees, then fix that for everybody & lastly, let them unionize without interference.”
Workers at Amazon’s substantial processing center in Bessemer, Alabama completed a vote Monday on whether to unionize– an effort highly withstood by the company. The result has not yet been announced.
Amazon has actually successfully fended off unionization efforts elsewhere in the US, though most of its facilities in Europe are unionized.
The business insists its employees delight in great pay and benefits by United States standards.