“You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?” Amazon tweeted. Drivers say they’re being gaslit.
Amazon’s PR team is beefing with a Wisconsin congressman about the company’s labour conditions, among them whether its workers pee in bottles.
On Wednesday evening, Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan called out the tech behemoth for its well-documented labour abuses in a tweet: “Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles.”
In response, @AmazonNews, the company’s official news account countered, “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”
But the fact that Amazon delivery drivers pee in bottles and coffee cups in their vans is not invented. It has been well-documented and is a huge talking point among many delivery drivers. It is one of the most universal concerns voiced by the many Amazon delivery drivers around the country that Motherboard has interviewed. Delivery workers, who drive Amazon emblazoned vans, often deliver up to 300 packages a day on a 10 hour shift. If they take too long, they can be written up and fired. So spending time locating and using a bathroom is not always an option.
In fact, here’s a photo of an Amazon delivery driver’s pee bottles. Motherboard confirmed the driver’s position and employment.
“We’re pressured to get these routes done before night time and having to find a restroom would mean driving an extra 10 minutes off path to find one,” an Amazon delivery driver told Motherboard. “Ten to fifteen minutes to find a bathroom can add up, meaning 20 to 30 minutes there and back all together.”
“Obviously we drink a lot of water throughout the day so this is happening a lot through the drive,” they continued. “I can tell you that if I drove to find a restroom that I would be bringing back packages every night and that would eventually mean I would get infractions, which would lead to termination.”
[I usually do it] in a bottle…in the back of the van away from any packages and clean my hands with sanitizer because I understand how gross it is,” they continued. “I just park off to the side and close the front sliding door.”