With excessive working hours, Amazon employees urinate in bottles

With excessive working hours, Amazon employees urinate in bottles
With excessive working hours, Amazon employees urinate in bottles
Photo: Disclosure / Amazon

Just over a week ago, when the retailer Amazon was accused of making her employees work overtime to the point of having to urinate in plastic bottles, the company of the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, stated that “if that were true, no one would work with us”.

The post, made in the retailer’s official profile, was a response to Congressman Mark Pocan who said that “Paying workers $ 15 an hour doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you break the union and make workers urinate. in water bottles “.

Shortly thereafter, on March 26, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the United States House of Representatives, tweeted an email attributed to Amazon in which, in an internal statement to its employees, the company stated that “it had discovered human feces in a bag that has returned to the station “.

In another paragraph of the e-mail, the company says it “noticed an increase in various types of non-sanitary waste being left in bags, such as used masks, gloves and bottles with urine”.

Photo: AOC Twitter / Reproduction

This Friday (2), however, Amazon went back and apologized – not to employees – but to Pocan, and ended up admitting that yes, some employees do not have time to go to the bathroom and end up urinating in water bottles. .

“The tweet was incorrect. It did not address our large population of drivers and instead focused erroneously only on our call centers,” says the company’s statement. “A typical Amazon distribution center has dozens of bathrooms, and employees can move away from their workstation at any time. If any employee at a distribution center has a different experience, we encourage you to speak to your manager and we’ll work to fix that, ”he continues.

The company’s statement cites that the problem occurs more often with “its drivers” and not with its “warehouse workers”.

“We know that drivers can and have difficulty finding toilets because of traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this was especially the case during Covid-19, when many public toilets were closed. This is an age-old problem that it covers the entire sector and is not specific to Amazon, “said the company, comparing the situation with other delivery companies, such as FedEx – without suggesting any kind of solution.

But in 2018, a reporter from The Verge he found that warehouse workers were encouraged not to take breaks to go to the bathroom. Problem that seems to remain to this day. In an interview with Vice, a company employee said that “you are sitting there and you have to ‘pee’, but you don’t want to accumulate ‘free time from the task'”, that is, you don’t want to waste time working by spending a few minutes in the bathroom.

This is not the first accusation of labor breach that Amazon has been facing in recent months. Since March, the Bezos retailer has been sued for “failing to offer its employees time off for lunch and rest.”

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