How and where Amazon drivers relieve themselves was at the center of the dispute over a union at the shipping giant in America. In the meantime, Amazon admits that it shot itself an “own goal” with its statements.
Dhe largest online retailer in the world, Amazon, admitted on the Easter weekend that delivery drivers sometimes cannot find toilets. The multibillionaire Jeff Bezos’ group confirmed reports for the first time that employees urinate in bottles under high time pressure in the stressful everyday work. The fact that this was initially denied via an official Amazon Twitter account was an “own goal”.
The conflict began the week before last with a critical tweet from Democratic Party MP Marc Pocan: “Paying employees $ 15 an hour does not make you a ‘progressive workplace’ if you crack down on unions and workers urinate in water bottles,” wrote this. Amazon had initially countered in an unusually sharp tone on Twitter: “You don’t really believe the thing about peeing in bottles?” And further: “If that were true, nobody would work for us.”
Now the Bezos group showed itself to be reasonable: “We apologize to MP Pocan,” he said. However, the statement does not contain an apology to the employees concerned. Nevertheless, Amazon announced that it wanted to tackle the pee problem. “We don’t yet know how, but we will look for solutions,” it said. However, the company also emphasized that it was an industry-wide problem that was not limited to Amazon – and that had been exacerbated by the closure of public toilets in the Corona crisis.
Amazon had come under even more pressure in the past few weeks. Shortly after the dispute with the politician Pocan, the investigative portal “The Intercept” published leaked documents from an Amazonlogistics manager, which among other things made it clear that no bags with “human faeces” are tolerated in the delivery centers. Amazon initially did not comment on this when asked and did not address it in the current statement. The working conditions of the group have recently been particularly in focus, as a US union could join Amazon for the first time through a vote in Alabama.