While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos saw his net worth grow by $70 billion last year, his employees had to urinate in bottles and defecate in bags for fear of missing delivery rates, the Intercept reported citing documents provided by employees. What seems to be more shocking is that the company was aware of that despite earlier denying the reports.
Documents given to the Intercept show an email sent by an Amazon manager criticising employees for relieving themselves while on the job.
"This evening, an associate discovered human faeces in an Amazon bag that was returned to station by a driver", the email reads. "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", reads the email.
One Amazon employee told the Intercept that delivery drivers are "implicitly forced to do so, otherwise we will end up losing our jobs for too many 'undelivered packages'".
The news comes a day after Amazon denied allegations of mistreatment of workers on social media in a comment to a Democratic legislator.
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.— Amazon News (@amazonnews) March 25, 2021
The company's motto is "Work Hard. Have Fun. Make History", but it appears Amazon doesn't live up to it, as the latest revelation is yet another accusation of mistreatment of employees. Last year, it was revealed that the company failed to adopt measures necessary to protect workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Employees complained of lack of protective equipment and failure to notify workers when their colleagues contracted the coronavirus.
Earlier this week, Vice reported that delivery drivers were given a choice of signing a form, which allows the company collect biometric data, or losing their jobs. According to the outlet, workers were essentially forced to sign the document, which allows Amazon to use AI-powered cameras in the cabins of delivery trucks.
The devices produced by tech company Netradyne monitor drivers' body and facial movements, are able to sense when a driver is distracted, yawns or is not wearing a seatbelt and shows drivers' location
Amazon said the use of AI-cameras will improve "safety" and "quality of delivery service".
"Netradyne cameras are used to help keep drivers and the communities where we deliver safe. We piloted the technology from April to October 2020 on over two million miles of delivery routes and the results produced remarkable driver and community safety improvements—accidents decreased 48 percent, stop sign violations decreased 20 percent, driving without a seatbelt decreased 60 percent, and distracted driving decreased 45 percent. Don't believe the self-interested critics who claim these cameras are intended for anything other than safety", said company spokesperson Deborah Bass.
It seems Amazon employees beg to differ. According to Reuters, some drivers quit their jobs citing privacy concerns.