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[Slashdot] - Amazon 'Fesses Up': that Peeing in Bottles Thing is Probably True


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"You don't really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?" Amazon tweeted last week. But on Friday "The web giant fessed up that its delivery drivers have limited access to bathrooms, meaning that accusations of them urinating in bottles or elsewhere in public are likely to be true," reports the New York Post: "We know that drivers can and do have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic or sometimes rural routes," the online retail giant posted on its AboutAmazon portal. "And this has been especially the case during Covid when many public restrooms have been closed...." Amazon's mea culpa admits that the original response was wrong. "It did not contemplate our large driver population and instead wrongly focused only on our fulfillment centers..." Amazon's original tweet had been attempting to knock down criticism from U.S. congressman Mark Pocan, who'd tweeted that "Paying workers $15/hr doesn't make you a 'progressive workplace' when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles." After Amazon's belated acknowledgement of his original criticism, Pocan responded, "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." Ars Technica notes Amazon's turnabout follows an investigation by Vice which had indeed discovered a Reddit forum for Amazon drivers with "dozens of threads and hundreds of comments" on the issues around finding a bathroom. But Ars also notes the issue appears to extend beyond Amazon: "This is a long-standing, industry-wide issue and is not specific to Amazon," the company added. Amazon says it wants to solve the problem: "We don't yet know how, but will look for solutions." Amazon appears to be right about that. Drivers for Uber, Lyft, and food delivery services have reported trouble finding bathrooms while on the job. Drivers for UPS and FedEx have reported similar difficulties. The problem has gotten worse in the last year as the pandemic has closed a large number of stores and restaurants.

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