Amazon is miffed with reports and tweets about its productivity demands being so high that workers routinely urinate in bottles because they can’t take restroom breaks.
“You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?” began a thread by Amazon News, which describes itself as the official account for news about Amazon, NDTV reported. Several media reports, including a recent article in the Guardian, quoted Amazon workers and contract drivers as saying that they had to urinate in bottles in their vehicles to keep up with productivity rates, the report added.
“Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday. He was initially responding to a tweet from Amazon’s top retail executive, who described the company as “the Bernie Sanders of employers,” calling out the progressive senator who is expected to be in Alabama on Friday in support of Amazon workers seeking to unionize.
The Guardian report cited a former driver who worked for several Amazon delivery providers in Austin and who described overwhelming 14-hour shifts. Delivery rates were so high, the driver told the Guardian, he used a plastic bottle to relieve himself on a daily basis, NDTV reported.
“I saw no effort on Amazon’s part to push delivery service providers to allow their drivers to use the restroom on a normal human basis, leading many, myself included, to urinate inside bottles for fear of slowing down our delivery rates,” the former driver said, according to the Guardian.
However, the company flatly dismissed those claims on its Amazon News Twitter account.
“You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us,” it said. “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.”