Amazon faces backlash over leaked memos on driver ‘public urination’

Amazon is facing backlash after leaked memos revealed that the company knew about its drivers urinating in bottles.

The documents, uncovered by The Intercept, were made public after the retail giant denied allegations made by US Republican Mark Pocan on Twitter.

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

The Amazon News Twitter account replied: “1/2 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.”

A confidential document dated in January reportedly details a number incidents including both “public urination” and “public defecation.” The Intercept was given the memo by an Amazon employee based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The same employee gave the online publication an email sent by an Amazon logistics manager that scolded workers for defecating into bags.

“This evening, an associate discovered human faeces in an Amazon bag that was returned to station by a driver,” the email read. “This is the 3rd occasion in the last 2 months when bags have been returned to station with poop inside. We understand that DA’s [driver associates] may have emergencies while on-road, and especially during Covid, DAs have struggled to find bathrooms while delivering.”

The email continued: “We’ve noticed an uptick recently of all kinds of unsanitary garbage being left inside bags: used masks, gloves, bottles of urine,” “By scanning the QR code on the bag, we can easily identify the DA who was in possession of the bag last. These behaviours are unacceptable, and will result in Tier 1 Infractions going forward.”

Retail Systems has reached out to Amazon for comment with no response.

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