Amazon has finally admitted to being in the know of some of its drivers having to urinate in bottles, due to the hectic delivery schedules that do not allow them to take breaks or find restrooms. The e-commerce giant, which had denied the allegations — saying that if the conditions were so deplorable, nobody would work for the Company — has now issued an apology in the matter.
Last month, an employee had shared an e-mail with The Intercept, a news agency wherein there was mention of a bag with human faeces and urine bottles being found in delivery vans on three occasions, proving that the Company was definitely aware of such incidents. The e-mail also directed employees to check delivery vans properly for such bottles, bags and garbage.
Politician Mark Pocan tweeted about the same, accusing Amazon of not really being a progressive workplace, because it did not allow its employees to form a union and made them work in inhuman conditions.
Amazon responded to the tweet saying that “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”
However, then the media reported many incidents of employees having had to urinate in bottles and the news agency even produced internal mails that proved that Amazon management was aware of such a practice. The Company then was left with no option but to issue an apology.
The Company, however, clarified that Pocan’s tweet focussed on its fulfilment centres, which had enough washrooms and facilities for the workers, whereas the urinating in bottles incidents pertained only to the drivers of delivery vans.
In its apology, Amazon mentions that it understands how difficult it can be for drivers on the field to find restrooms on certain routes or amidst traffic. However, it says this has been the case during the pandemic because of public restrooms being closed. It indicates that it is an industrywide issue that it intends to address.