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Amazon Admits Its Drivers Do Actually Pee In Bottles After They Were Caught Lying To Congressman

Amazon Admits Its Drivers Do Actually Pee In Bottles After They Were Caught Lying To Congressman
Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Amazon was recently forced to issue a public apology after the commerce giant lied to a Congressman in the form of a snarky Tweet.

Specifically, the company falsely denied Wisconsin Democratic Representative Mark Pocan's claim that, among other problematic working conditions, Amazon employees often cannot find bathrooms and are forced to pee in bottles in order to maintain Amazon's strenuous delivery schedules and avoid being fired for not keeping up (there's evidently no magic wand to make two-day shipping happen).

Amazon responded to Pocan's charge with some condescending denial.

But Amazon's snide tweet only brought more criticism raining down upon the company.

Really, that tweet was like a conch shell that called multiple investigative reporters to share direct evidence that, yes, workers definitely urinate in bottles on the job at Amazon.

Gurley, who posted that last tweet, even wrote a full report for Vice that included photographs of the very pee bottles in question.

All that evidence coming back to the surface clearly left Amazon a little spooked about its misguided denial of blatant fact.

So the company published the following blog post, in which they apologized to Representative Pocan, weaving a very careful apology that included just about no admittance of guilt.

Instead, Amazon minimized peeing in bottles as just something every distribution employee at any company must do all the time.

"This was an own-goal, we're unhappy about it, and we owe an apology to Representative Pocan."

"First, the tweet was incorrect. It did not contemplate our large driver population and instead wrongly focused only on our fulfillment centers."

"A typical Amazon fulfillment center has dozens of restrooms, and employees are able to step away from their work station at any time. If any employee in a fulfillment center has a different experience, we encourage them to speak to their manager and we'll work to fix it."

"Second, our process was flawed. The tweet did not receive proper scrutiny. We need to hold ourselves to an extremely high accuracy bar at all times, and that is especially so when we are criticizing the comments of others."

"Third, we know that drivers can and do have trouble finding restrooms because of traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this has been especially the case during Covid when many public restrooms have been closed."

"This is a long-standing, industry-wide issue and is not specific to Amazon. We've included just a few links below that discuss the issue."

"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."

"We will continue to speak out when misrepresented, but we will also work hard to always be accurate."

"We apologize to Representative Pocan."

In addition, as The Verge noted, Amazon's claim only the company's drivers have been forced to pee in bottles is also untrue.

A 2018 study by Organise, a UK workers' rights platform, found 74% of workers avoid using the bathroom for fear of missing efficiency targets.

Representative Pocan himself was also totally not impressed by Amazon's attempt to apologize. He pointed out the fact that the company apologized to him, and not the people who are actually out there peeing in bottles.

Amazon's PR misstep, and admission, drove a wave of outrage and humorous jabs.

Hopefully, enough widespread backlash and criticism will actually allow Amazon employees to use the bathroom like most people are allowed to on a daily basis.