Are 'peeing in bottles' claims against Amazon true? Inside shocking controversy as Bernie Sanders meets workers

Are 'peeing in bottles' claims against Amazon true? Inside shocking controversy as Bernie Sanders meets workers
A portion of the sign advertising Amazon Go is seen outside the grocery store's location on June 16, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. Amazon announced that it will buy Whole Foods Market, Inc. for over $13 billion dollars. (Getty Images)

Amazon has landed itself in trouble for quashing all the accusations leveled by the workers that they were "forced to pee in plastic bottles" rather than go to the toilet during their shifts. The controversy erupted once again when Democrat leader Mark Pocan gave a reply to Dave Clark, CEO Worldwide Consumer of Amazon. Clark shared an article from a media outlet that discussed Senator Bernie Sanders traveling to Alabama in order to meet Amazon workers and push them to form a union.

Clark wrote, “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.”


The tweet did not sit well with Pocan and replied to Clark by saying that you don’t make Amazon a “progressive workplace” when you don’t allow the users to go to the toilet during their shifts. He wrote, “Paying workers $15/hr doesn't make you a "progressive workplace" when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles.”



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Surprisingly, the official handle of Amazon News commented on Pocan’s update and noted that there was no reality in those claims. The company also shared that they are “proud” to have great wages and health care from day one.



“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 tweet noted.

The company also slammed the US Representative for not “enacting policies” for the benefits of the other employers. The tweet noted, “We hope you can enact policies that get other employers to offer what we already do.” 

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) questions Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta as he testifies during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Labor Budget for Fiscal Year 2020, on Capitol Hill on April 3, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

The Internet feels ‘cringy’ after seeing Amazon’s reply

The Internet had a lot to say about the entire conversation and Amazon’s reply to Pocan. Many said that they can’t believe the tech-giant replied with such weird remarks. One user said, “A union would protect you from being required by your employer to post cringe.” Another user said, “Whoever is running this account, imagine how much better your life would be with a union.” Another one wrote, “I 100% believe "the peeing in bottles thing" because I am a public health researcher and am keenly aware of what people who are desperate for a job that lets them survive in a floundering economy will do. In other words, I'm familiar with exploitative employment practices.”




Meanwhile, another user wrote, “Well no, I don’t think the social media manager running this account has to pee in bottles. But I also know damn well you’re not on a warehouse floor.” On the other hand, a person who claimed to be Amazon’s former worker, wrote, “I worked for you once and I went out to the bathroom twice in a workday and a couple of days later I was reprimanded for this saying that I didn’t make rate. I never like to talk about this but I think it's cool for this one time.”



When was the claim actually made?

In 2019, a report surfaced online that Amazon workers were forced to urinate in plastic bottles rather than go to the toilet during their shifts. The report also suggested that more than 600 reports were made from Amazon warehouses to the Health and Safety Executive since 2015. 

At the time, Amazon said the group is spreading "misinformation" even when the organization offers a plethora of benefits to its workers. 

On the other hand, undercover investigator James Bloodworth stated in his book, 'Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain' that people just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of losing their jobs just because they needed the loo. He also revealed that Amazon's warehouse in Rugeley, Staffordshire, was like a "prison". 

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