E-commerce big Amazon has apologized to a US lawmaker after falsely denying that a few of its drivers are pressured at occasions to urinate in plastic bottles.
The flap began final week with a tweet from Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin.
“Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” Pocan tweeted, in an obvious reference to Amazon’s opposition to efforts to unionize a significant facility in Alabama.
Amazon’s official account shortly responded, saying: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”
But a number of information media then cited quite a few Amazon workers who mentioned that they had, actually, been left with little selection however to make use of plastic bottles.
And the web site The Intercept mentioned it had obtained inside paperwork exhibiting Amazon executives have been conscious of the observe.
The staff’ testimony underlined the complaints of many Amazon workers — each in its processing services and amongst its drivers — about what they are saying is a relentless work tempo.
“We owe an apology to Representative Pocan,” Amazon mentioned in an announcement late Friday.
“The tweet was incorrect. It did not contemplate our large driver population and instead wrongly focused only on our fulfillment centers,” every of which, it mentioned, had dozens of restrooms that workers may use “at any time.”
Amazon continued: “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 described the issue as “a long-standing, industry-wide issue,” including, “we would like to solve it.”
The apology didn’t fulfill Pocan, who responded Saturday on Twitter, saying:
“Sigh. This isn’t about me, that is about your staff – who you do not deal with with sufficient respect or dignity.
“Start by acknowledging the insufficient working situations you’ve got created for ALL your staff, then repair that for everybody & lastly, allow them to unionize with out interference.”
Workers at Amazon’s large processing facility in Bessemer, Alabama accomplished a vote Monday on whether or not to unionize — an initiative strongly resisted by the corporate. The consequence has not but been introduced.
Amazon has efficiently fended off unionization efforts elsewhere within the US, although most of its services in Europe are unionized.
The firm insists its staff take pleasure in good pay and advantages by US requirements.
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