Amazon admitted that its drivers sometimes have trouble finding a toilet and urinating into a bottle is common practice. The online commerce giant was challenged by Republican Mark Pocan on this issue.
The e-commerce giant Amazon apologized at the weekend to an elected American for denying the existence of a practice to which its employees are sometimes forced: to urinate in plastic bottles. “We know that our drivers can and do have problems finding toilets due to traffic or sometimes rural roads, and this was especially the case with the Covid, when many public toilets were closed,” said the company in a statement released on April 2.
The controversy began last week, with a tweet from an elected Democrat in the House of Representatives, Mark Pocan. “The fact that you pay your employees $ 15 an hour does not make you a progressive workplace,” he accused, “when you make your employees urinate in plastic bottles”.
“If it was true, no one would work for us”
An official Amazon account then responded directly to the chosen one on the same social network: “You don’t really believe in this story of pee in bottles, anyway? If that was true, no one would work for us. ”
But several media had subsequently reported numerous statements by employees testifying to the existence of this practice. The Intercept media also claimed to have obtained internal documents certifying that she was well known to company officials. The testimonies point in particular to the lack of time to go to the bathroom because of the pace of work imposed by Amazon.
“We owe Representative Pocan an apology,” the company said in its statement. “The tweet was incorrect. It did not take into account our large group of drivers, and wrongly focused on our distribution centers, “where employees can” get away from their workstations at any time “to go to” the dozens of toilets. ” at their disposal.
The problem with Amazon’s drivers is “old” and “pervasive” across “the industry,” the company continued. “We would like to solve it. We don’t know how, but we will look for solutions, ”she promised.
Reacting to Amazon’s apology, Republican elected official Marc Pocan said on Twitter on April 3: “It’s not about me, it’s about your employees – that you don’t treat with enough respect and dignity. Start by recognizing the inappropriate working conditions you have created for ALL of your employees. ”
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
– Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) April 3, 2021
Amazon is in the spotlight in the United States with the vote, completed this week, on forming a warehouse union in Alabama, which would be the first in the country. The results have not yet been announced.