The Amazon delivery service has been a strong help during this week, helping America prepare for not only the vaccine but for Easter as well. While we can’t help but understand how much pressure these workers are under, we also could pass over this story about one Amazon worker who denies the notion that Amazon workers urinate in bottles to relieve their stress, when they do, in fact, urinate in bottles. The Amazon company apologized to Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan for was fighting with both Amazon retail chef Dave Clark and senator Bernie Sanders for “not being progressive enough”
In a twitter blowup, Pocan had tweeted, “Paying workers $15 per hour doesn’t make you a progressive workplace when you union bust and make workers urinate in water bottles”. To which the Amazon company replied, “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us. Th 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”.
Due to the blatant evidence that workers do, in fact, pee in bottles, the tweet received much scorn on Twitter. After the backlash, the company apologized: “Our tweet in response to Pocan was incorrect and did not contemplate our large driver population; rather, we focused on employees in fulfillment centers. It did not hold up to our accuracy standards, and we sincerely apologize”. They also attempted to deny responsibility of the incident by adding that, although its workers do not get sufficient lunch breaks, they are ale to urinate and defecate as they wish because they need to deliver thousands of packages daily for America.
Furthermore, Amazon adds that other companies such as UPS or Uber force their workers to relieve themselves using bottles rather than public restrooms: “We also know that other delivery services have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic or rural routes and this has especially been the case during COVID where many public restrooms are still closed”, the comapny added. They include links on their Twitter pages to nine stories and reports about its workers using containers as well as tweets of people sympathetic to this fact. Pocan then appeals to the Democratic Congress to show more respect for their workers: “Start by acknowledging the inadequate working conditions you’ve created for ALL your workers, then fix that for everyone and finally, let them unionize without interferance”.
While Amazon made not have made the most professional move, it has certainly provided the population with more sympathy for delivery workers. Still, it does not stop Amazon’s success rate from declining this past week, especially for demanding an apology. “These delivery people are the ones who deserve an apology, not them”, Pocan concludes.