Amid a mounting evidence of allegedly ill-treating its low-paid workers, Amazon has denied exploitative working conditions at its facilities, including forcing exhausted workers to ‘pee in bottles’.
Replying to a tweet from US Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI), the ecommerce behemoth said the company’s union-busting tactics allegations are baseless.
“Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” Pocan said in a tweet on Thursday.
Amazon replied: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us. The truth is that we have over a million incredible employees around the world who are proud of what they do, and have great wages and health care from day one”.
“We hope you can enact policies that get other employers to offer what we already do,” the company further stated.
Once the Twitter war started, several journalists and people who have documented such incidents at Amazon facilities began flooding the Web.
Journalist James Bloodworth, whose 2018 book titled ‘Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain,’ documented his experience of low-paid work for companies including Amazon.
“I was the person who found the pee in the bottle. Trust me, it happened,” Bloodworth responded to the Amazon tweet.
Lauren Kaori Gurley, a labor reporter with Motherboard tweeted: “As a labor reporter who covers Amazon extensively…I can say Amazon delivery drivers not having a time or place to pee is one of the most universal concerns I hear about.”
The Intercept published a report on Thursday citing formal policy documents and emails from Amazon, detailing “more cases of drivers urinating into bottles” and even resorting to “defecating into bags”.
“The practice, these documents show, was known to management, which identified it as a recurring infraction but did nothing to ease the pressure that caused it. In some cases, employees even defecated in bags,” the report mentioned, detailing company’s poor working conditions.
“We’ve noticed an uptick recently of all kinds of unsanitary garbage being left inside bags: used masks, gloves, bottles of urine,” reads an email from an Amazon logistics manager provided to The Intercept.