Amazon has apologised to a US politician after denying that drivers sometimes urinate in plastic bottles while working.
The company backed down over its response to a tweet posted by Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin, which slated Amazon for opposing workers efforts to unionise and claimed that the company makes “workers urinate in water bottles.”
Paying workers $15/hr doesn't make you a "progressive workplace" when you union-bust & make workers urinate in wate… https://t.co/xbkmo5t3wl
“The tweet was incorrect. It did not contemplate our large driver population and instead wrongly focused only on our fulfilment centres.”
It comes amid widespread media reports criticising the working conditions of Amazon staff. Employees have spoken out about being so busy they are forced to urinate in bottles and have said they fear they will be punished if they take breaks.
Meanwhile, Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, voted in a poll last week to decide whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, against Amazon’s wishes. If they vote yes, it will become Amazon’s first US union.
Amazon added: “We know that drivers can and do have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this has been especially the case during Covid when many public restrooms have been closed.”
It said the problem was “a long-standing, industry-wide issue” and said that they “would like to solve it”.
But responding to the apology, Pocan slammed Amazon and said the company does not treat its staff with “respect or dignity”.
This is not about me, this is about your workers—who you don't treat with enough respect or dignity.