Amazon Admits the Truth About How it Treats its Workers

Amazon España por dentro by Alvy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world. If there’s one thing it has, it’s money.

It can afford to pay for lawyers that most of us could only dream about, and hire public relations professionals that make its image as clean as the fresh-driven snow. 

But instead, the e-commerce conglomerate only shows how utterly incompetent and corrupt it is by hiring people as full of crap and arrogant as its own former boss Jeff Bezos.

The list of customer complaints against Amazon grows by the day, but the people who have an even better reason to sound the alarm are the giant’s factory workers who are treated like garbage as they sort through and send the garbage that Amazon sells. 

Now Amazon’s customer relations is issuing a rare apology after lying about how it treats its workers.  

Books from amazon by Aurelijus Valeiša is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Amazon Forced to Admit the Truth

A Wisconsin Democrat called Mark Pocan had enough of Amazon’s guff recently. He was clearly referencing Amazon’s attempts to shut down unionization efforts at their large factory in Alabama.

Pocan tweeted out one of the oldest accusations against the company last week. He wrote that their workers are so overworked that they sometimes have to pee in bottles. 

“Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” Pocan wrote. 

Amazon’s public relations wrote back in record time, denying the charges like a good corporate hack.

“You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us,” the official Amazon account responded. 

There was just one problem: there is extensive on-the-record proof of Amazon employees having to pee in bottles. This makes denying that it’s happened slightly trickier. 

The Intercept had even released various internal company documents showing that Amazon leadership certainly knew some employees and drivers were peeing in bottles. This directly contradicted what the official account had tweeted out in its denial and it was forced to eat crow. 

“We owe an apology to Representative Pocan. The tweet was incorrect. It did not contemplate our large driver population and instead wrongly focused only on our fulfillment centers…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,” the statement said, insisting that Amazon fulfillment centers always have enough restrooms, however.

Amazon’s Half-Apology

In its statement admitting that some Amazon workers do have to pee in bottles, the company managed to half dodge the apology, however, by saying that it’s not actually about them and is a “long-standing, industry-wide issue.”

Pocan wasn’t impressed, and went back on Twitter to respond writing:

“Sigh. This is not about me, this is about your workers — who you don’t treat with enough respect or dignity. 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.”

The chances of Amazon doing what Pocan asks here seem very low.

Even if workers at its large processing facility in Bessemer, Alabama do unionize it will surely find a way to cut benefits or lay people off as punishment. Workers in Bessemer voted whether to unionize recently but the result hasn’t been announced yet. 

If it turns out they will unionize then get ready for the Amazon spin machine and lobbyists to go into full gear. However, if they’re as stupid as the person tweeting from the official Twitter account then we probably don’t have all that much to worry about.