Amazon has issued a uncommon public apology — however to not its employees, and with no actual act of contrition.
Over per week in the past, the corporate was caught publicly lying to Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) that its employees by no means really feel the necessity to pee in water bottles (which is, in truth, a well-documented issue at Amazon due to how it robotically tracks and fires its laborers).
Now, late on the Friday night earlier than Easter weekend, when few (hat tip to GeekWire) are paying consideration, the company is apologizing to Pocan — and nobody else. Amazon solely apologizes for not being “accurate” sufficient, too — not for truly creating and contributing to conditions the place employees pee in bottles.
Actually, Amazon goes as far as to recommend the entire pee bottle factor is solely a regrettable established order, stating a handful of instances when different firms’ supply drivers had been additionally caught peeing in bottles, in addition to embedding a handful of random feedback on Twitter that occur to assist Amazon’s views. You’ll be able to nearly hear Jeff Bezos saying “Why aren’t these people blaming UPS and FedEx? Let’s get more people thinking about them instead.”
The weblog publish additionally strongly means that that is solely a difficulty for supply drivers, not Amazon’s warehouse employees — though a 2018 expose from an undercover reporter found Amazon warehouse workers were also forced to skip bathroom breaks, and a employee who spoke to journalists simply final week urged lavatory breaks had been nonetheless a difficulty in 2021. “You’re sitting there and you have to go take a piss, but you don’t want to rack up ‘time off task,’” she told Motherboard.
Amazon is currently facing a lawsuit over missed lunch breaks as effectively. And most significantly, all of that is occurring within the shadow of an Amazon union vote in Bessemer, Alabama that might assist form the way forward for labor in america, not to mention at Amazon.
Amazon’s apology to Pocan is the form of memo that deserves to be annotated, line-by-line, partially as a result of considered one of its strains is definitely pretty good — “Regardless of the fact that this is industry-wide, we would like to solve it. We don’t yet know how, but will look for solutions” — however as a result of it’s previous 1AM right here and it seems The Verge’s blockquote device doesn’t let me embed tweets, I’ll simply provide the major guts for now:
On Wednesday final week, the @amazonnews Twitter account tweeted the following again to Consultant Mark Pocan:
This was an own-goal, we’re sad about it, and we owe an apology to Consultant Pocan.
First, the tweet was incorrect. It didn’t ponder our massive driver inhabitants and as a substitute wrongly centered solely on our achievement facilities. A typical Amazon achievement heart has dozens of restrooms, and staff are in a position to step away from their work station at any time. If any worker in a achievement heart has a special expertise, we encourage them to talk to their supervisor and we’ll work to repair it.
Second, our course of was flawed. The tweet didn’t obtain correct scrutiny. We have to maintain ourselves to an especially excessive accuracy bar always, and that’s particularly so after we are criticizing the feedback of others.
Third, we all know that drivers can and do have bother discovering restrooms due to visitors or generally rural routes, and this has been particularly the case throughout Covid when many public restrooms have been closed.
This can be a long-standing, industry-wide challenge and isn’t particular to Amazon. We’ve included just some hyperlinks beneath that debate the difficulty.
No matter the truth that that is industry-wide, we want to remedy it. We don’t but know the way, however will search for options.
We are going to proceed to talk out when misrepresented, however we may even work exhausting to all the time be correct.
We apologize to Consultant Pocan.
You’ll be able to learn the full version here. Once you’re completed, maybe take a look at Motherboard’s interview with six female Amazon delivery drivers, for whom the pee scenario is clearly a lot worse.