Amazon tweets, “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?” in response to accusations against the behemoth creating an atmosphere where workers feel pressured to urinate in bottles rather than be seen on break.

The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York City, U.S.
The logo of Amazon is seen on the door of an Amazon Books retail store in New York City, U.S. (Reuters)

Amazon is currently fighting a very public PR battle as it doggedly defends itself on Twitter over accusations that the giant company sets unyielding goals and does not give its employees enough breaks to go to toilets.

In response to a tweet from Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan, Amazon News account posted on Twitter, "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 same Amazon account replied earlier to an article by Jessa Crispin published by the Guardian that said "Amazon is a disaster for workers. Nomadland glosses over that."

Amazon replied, "Unlike the production team from Nomadland, it doesn’t appear that the author of this piece has ever been into an Amazon building, and she decided to write a fiction piece based on opinion instead of facts."

Thousands of tweets mocked Amazon’s post leaving the company in a public relations battle with a group of workers in Alabama attempting to unionize.

Amazon's response strategy comes through a campaign illustrating just how well they treat their workers which doesn’t seem to be succeeding as many high-profile labour organisers, celebrities and even politicians joined the side of the striking workers.

Earlier in March, a Guardian article outlined the experience of James Meyers who worked as an Amazon driver in Austin, Texas, for about one year. 

He is one of the people who attest to needing to urinate inside bottles over fear of missing delivery goals. Meyers quit in 2020 over immense workloads and poor working conditions.

Fourteen-hour shifts were common because delivery service providers wouldn’t allow drivers to return any packages from their routes and the pressure to meet delivery rates meant Meyers used a plastic bottle to go to the bathroom on a daily basis.

“I saw no effort on Amazon’s part to push delivery service providers to allow their drivers to use the restroom on a normal human basis, leading many, myself included, to urinate inside bottles for fear of slowing down our delivery rates,” Meyers said in the article.

Last January, a document marked “Amazon Confidential,” provided details on violations by the company's staff including “public urination” and “public defecation.”

The document was provided to The Intercept by an Amazon employee in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

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Source: Reuters