Amazon’s Pee Bottle PR Nightmare

Amazon’s Pee Bottle PR Nightmare
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After posting a tweet denying that their workers are forced to urinate in plastic water bottles due to labour conditions, Amazon was hit with replies from journalists and former workers claiming otherwise.

The tweet came after Amazon Executive Dave Clark posted a link to an article where Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he was meeting with Amazon employees in Alabama who are hoping to unionise.

It would be the first union in Amazon’s history.

In the tweet, Clark mocked Sanders, saying,

“I welcome @SenSanders to Birmingham and appreciate his push for a progressive workplace. I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace.”

Amazon recently raised its minimum wage in the US to $15.

Clark’s tweet was then quote tweeted by Wisconsin politician Mark Porcan, who wrote, “Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a “progressive workplace” when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles.”

The official Amazon News account then responded, “you don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing do you?”

The tweet immediately received ire from former Amazon workers and journalists, who provided evidence of workers, namely drivers, urinating in bottles so they could make their quotas.

According to news outlet The Intercept, a document marked ‘Amazon Confidential’ outlined infractions by employees of Amazon, including “public urination” and “public defecation”.  As well as urinating in bottles, the publication reports, drivers ended up defecating in bags.

The Intercept says that this, as well as conversations with workers and leaked emails, is evidence that managers were aware that workers – particularly drivers – were urinating in bottles.

In the leaked email, an Amazon logistics manager wrote, “we’ve noticed an uptick recently of all kinds of unsanitary garbage being left inside bags: used masks, gloves, bottles of urine…please be explicit when communicating the message that they CANNOT poop, or leave bottles of urine inside bags.”

Amazon employs almost 1.3 million people globally.

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