Amazon has publicly apologised for lying to US politicians about the schedule driver’s have to keep and the fact that it does not allow for toilet breaks.
Amazon has a poor reputation for how it treats its workforce. The company faced a fresh allegation when Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin, noted that Amazon makes “workers urinate in water bottles” in a tweet. Amazon denied these claims.
In response to the tweet of Pocan, Amazon stated “If that were true, nobody would work for us.”
Unfortunately, it appears to be true and Amazon has now issued an apology for denying the claim of the politician.
What has been said?
Evidenced emerged from drivers that they were forced to urinate in bottles to meet the demands of their jobs.
Amazon issued an apology to Pocan, stating:
“We owe an apology to Representative Pocan.”
“The tweet was incorrect. It did not contemplate our large driver population and instead wrongly focused only on our fulfilment centres.”
“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.”
The company added that the workers are allowed to use the toilets provided at their warehouses at any time. Although some will feel this is a pretty low bar, and it’s concerning its portrayed as a positive factor in working for the company.
The statement noted that the problem was “a long-standing, industry-wide issue” and also noted the company “would like to solve it”.
Some will question the validity of a statement that claims it would like to solve an issue it previously denied.
Furthermore, Pocan rejected the apology and tweeted:
“Sigh. 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 and finally, let them unionise without interference.”
Amazon and a union
Amazon has attacked those workers who want a union. In fact, the president of the union who has mobilised workers has been called “chief disinformation officer” by the company. Moreover, the company has blamed reductions in custom on unionising staff.
Amazon spokesperson Heather Knox defended the companies position:
“Our employees choose to work at Amazon because we offer some of the best jobs available everywhere we hire, and we encourage anyone to compare our total compensation package, health benefits, and workplace environment to any other company with similar jobs.”
Despite these claims, many will be concerned that the company has a culture that doesn’t allow for restroom breaks.
The union vote count will begin on Wednesday.
Image via Alamy