The controversy began with a tweet by Pocan blasting Amazon for its therapy of employees—a subject of specific public curiosity as employees at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama have been voting on whether or not to unionize.
“Paying employees $15/hr does not make you a ‘progressive office’ while you union-bust & make employees urinate in water bottles,” Pocan wrote.
“You do not actually consider the peeing in bottles factor, do you?” Amazon responded on March 24. “If that have been true, no one would work for us.”
Recode’s Jason Del Rey studies that Amazon’s aggressive response was inspired by CEO Jeff Bezos, who had been annoyed Amazon wasn’t pushing again arduous sufficient in opposition to its critics.
However the tweet become a PR fiasco for Amazon. The following day, Vice printed a story with the headline “Amazon Denies Employees Pee in Bottles. Right here Are the Pee Bottles.” It included a photograph of bottles with an Amazon employee’s urine in them.
Vice famous that this was a standard matter of debate on the r/AmazonDSPDrivers subreddit. There are “dozens of threads and a whole lot of feedback” with drivers lamenting their have to pee in bottles, hedges, and different issues moreover a rest room.
“The tweet was incorrect”
Now Amazon has modified its tune. “The tweet was incorrect,” Amazon admitted on its web site. “It didn’t ponder our massive driver inhabitants and as an alternative wrongly targeted solely on our success facilities.”
Amazon says that “a typical Amazon success heart has dozens of restrooms, and workers are capable of step away from their work station at any time.”
Nonetheless, the corporate acknowledged that this is not at all times true for its supply drivers.
“We all know that drivers can and do have bother discovering restrooms due to visitors or generally rural routes, and this has been particularly the case throughout Covid when many public restrooms have been closed,” Amazon wrote.
“This can be a long-standing, industry-wide concern and isn’t particular to Amazon,” the corporate added. Amazon says it needs to resolve the issue: “We do not but understand how, however will search for options.”
Amazon seems to be proper about that. Drivers for Uber, Lyft, and meals supply companies have reported bother discovering bogs whereas on the job. Drivers for UPS and FedEx have reported related difficulties. The issue has gotten worse within the final yr because the pandemic has closed a lot of shops and eating places.
Amazon has been on the defensive in current weeks as employees at its Bessemer success heart vote on making a union. Voting closed earlier this week, however the Nationwide Labor Relations Board has not but introduced the outcomes. The stakes are excessive for Amazon, since a profitable vote may enhance related efforts in different segments of Amazon’s huge workforce. Amazon has greater than 1.1 million employees.