The e-commerce giant Amazon apologized to the American legislator after falsely denying that some of its drivers were occasionally forced to urinate in plastic bottles.
The break began last week with a tweet from Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin.
“Paying workers $ 15 an hour doesn’t make you a ‘progressive job’ when you unite unions and force workers to urinate in water bottles,” Pocan tweeted, in an obvious reference to Amazon’s opposition to efforts to merge a large facility in Alabama.
Amazon’s official order responded quickly, saying, “You don’t really believe in bottle pissing, do you? If that were true, no one would work for us.”
But several newspaper media outlets at the time quoted a number of Amazon employees as saying that in fact they had no choice but to use plastic bottles.
And The Intercept website said it had obtained internal documents showing that Amazon executives were familiar with the practice.
The testimony of the workers underscores the complaints of many Amazon employees – both in the processing plants and among the drivers – because of, as they say, the relentless pace of work.
“We owe an apology to Representative Pocan,” Amazon said in a statement late Friday.
“The tweet was inaccurate. It did not consider our large population of drivers, but wrongly focused only on our filling centers,” each of which reportedly had dozens of toilets that employees could use “at any time.” .
Amazon continued: “We know that drivers can and do have problems finding toilets due to traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this was especially the case during Covid when many public toilets were closed.”
He described the problem as “a long-standing problem in the entire industry”, adding “we would like to solve it”.
The apology did not satisfy Pocan, who responded on Twitter on Saturday, saying:
“I sighed. This is not about me, but about your workers – whom you do not treat with enough respect or dignity.
“Start by recognizing the inadequate working conditions you have created for ALL your workers, and then fix it for everyone and finally, let them come together without interruption.”
Workers at Amazon’s huge Bessemer processing plant in Alabama wrapped up Monday’s vote on whether to join a union – an initiative the company strongly opposed. The result has not been published yet.
Amazon has successfully defended its merger efforts in other parts of the United States, although most of its facilities in Europe are merged.
The company insists that its workers enjoy a good salary and benefits according to American standards.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)