Despite internal claims that Amazon is a “progressive” company that pays its employees a $15 minimum wage and offers them “health care from day one,” evidence is piling up to suggest that Amazon employees dread coming into work because of the abuse they are forced to endure.
Amazon’s “safe and inclusive work environment” includes so micromanaging workers’ performance that many of them are afraid to even use the restroom for fear of not achieving their required fulfillment goals.
Because of the time it takes to go to the restroom, some workers keep empty bottles nearby in which to pee. Should they have to go “number two,” some employees have proposed laying out puppy pads on the floor so they can eliminate and work at the same time.
The situation is much the same for Amazon drivers who carry around pee bottles and poop bags in order to avoid having to stop and take a break. Amazon drivers are required to hit a certain number of houses within an allotted period of time and going to the bathroom interferes with the company’s expectations.
“Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” tweeted Rep. Mark Potan (D-Wis.).
Amazon’s corporate news account quickly fired back: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”
“The truth is that 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,” the company added.
Amazon employees get seriously injured at a disproportionately high rate
As it turns out, Amazon employees peeing in bottles is a thing, and there is plenty of proof that working conditions at Amazon are hardly as rosy as the company claims.
Reports dating back more than a decade allege that Amazon workers are treated like slaves. Underpaid staff are told to lie about workplace injuries in order to avoid having to file reports, as one example.
Speaking of injuries on the job, Amazon has a higher-than-average rate of serious workplace injuries at 7.7 per 100 employees. Some workers who tested “positive” for the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19) have reported being ignored by their superiors, who showed no concern for their employees.
In 2018, journalist and author James Bloodworth went undercover at an Amazon warehouse in Staffordshire, U.K., where he observed with his own eyes workers peeing in bottles.
“People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being disciplined over ‘idle time’ and losing their jobs just because they needed the loo,” Bloodworth wrote in a report for The Sun.
After the story was published, additional Amazon employees from other warehouses came forward with similar stories about poor working conditions across the company. Some employees have even committed suicide because of how poorly they are treated by Bezos and his minions.
A recent survey by the England-based group Organise found that 74 percent of employees who work at Amazon warehouses are too afraid to go to the bathroom while on shift because they might fail to reach their productivity goals.
Bloodworth added in his investigation that on one occasion he found a Coca-Cola bottle filled with urine sitting “incongruently” on a warehouse shelf amid various Amazon products, “evidently left there by a worker too scared to take a toilet break.”
Amazon tells drivers to make sure they clean urine, poop out of vans after shifts because of how common the practice is
Just last year, an Amazon driver working out of the Tampa Bay, Fla., area reported having to pee in a coffee cup daily upon threat of termination. Taking a break to go to the bathroom the normal way, this employee confirmed, was a terminable offense.
“I go home in pain every day,” this person said. “I may get written up tomorrow for driving with the side door open, which I thought was how you were supposed to do it based on other [A]mazon drivers I’ve seen.”
“They give us reports at the end of every week to see how we compare to the rest of the drivers on sph (stops per hour),” this person added. “It’s a hot miserable job, if not then it is pouring down rain and lightning and you are expected not to slow down for that at all. I dread going in every day …”
Ken Bensinger of Buzzfeed News uploaded photo evidence of a policy handed out to Amazon drivers who contract through Synctruck revealing that part of their job duties include ensuring that “urine bottles” are removed from the vans after every shift. This suggests that the practice is common due to Amazon’s slave labor policies.
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