Amazon.com, the e-commerce business giant, acknowledged U.S Rep. Mark Pocan’s allegations that its drivers are forced to urinate in water bottles while on duty. It came after the initial denial by the company via Twitter which read as “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?”
The 2-part tweet further said, “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.” Now, Amazon has issued a blog post saying that it was actually referring to the warehouse staff in its initial response.
Amazon’s admission to these claims came in a week after facing the censure from the Democrat through a tweet. “Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” the tweet read.
After receiving serious backlash for this denial, Amazon issued a public apology in a blog post. It stated that this issue is industry-wide and solutions for this concern are being thought of, without mentioning anything in specific.
Amazon’s response released on Friday said “this was an own goal, we are unhappy about it and we owe an apology to Representative Pocan.” The company’s official blog further stated “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.”
This apology from Amazon came at a time when Alabama’s warehouse workers are waiting for the results of a vote count that can be a turning point for the workers and lead to the company’s first unionized facility in the United States.
However, this response was not enough to satisfy Rep. Pocan and he responded on Twitter saying, “Sigh. This is not about me, this is about your workers – who you don’t treat with enough respect or dignity.” His tweet further said, “start by acknowledging the inadequate working conditions you’ve created for ALL your workers, then fix that for everyone & finally, let them unionize without interference.”
So far, Amazon has discouraged the idea of unionizing its U.S. employees. And this incident can turn out to be a crucial argument for the US Labor Movement to unionize the company after allegations from several workers of an unsafe and grueling workplace.