E-commerce giant Amazon has apologised to a US lawmaker after falsely denying that some of its drivers are sometimes compelled to urinate in plastic bottles.
The company also admitted that some drivers have had to ‘pee in bottles’.
Just a week earlier, the Democrat had strongly condemned Amazon’s working conditions.It had then tweeted: “Paying workers US $15 per hour doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust and make workers urinate in water bottles.”
As per media reports, the flap started last week following a tweet from Mark Pocan – a Wisconsin Democrat.
Amazon’s official account quickly responded, saying: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”
However, several news media then cited numerous Amazon employees who said they had, in fact, been left with little choice but to use plastic bottles.And the website The Intercept said it had obtained internal documents showing Amazon executives were aware of the practice.
“We owe an apology to Representative Pocan,” Amazon said in a statement.
“The tweet was incorrect. It did not contemplate our large driver population and instead wrongly focused only on our fulfillment centres,” each of which, it said, had dozens of restrooms that employees could use at any time.”
Amazon continued: “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-19 when many public restrooms have been closed.”
The company described the problem as ‘a long-standing, industry-wide issue,’ adding, ‘we would like to solve it.’