Amazon has hit back over rumours its staff are so overworked they have to resort to urinating in bottles.
The online retail giant has a bit of a reputation for demanding much of its staff, but says the latest accusations are totally untrue.
It said that ‘nobody would work for us’ if practices were so grueling that employees couldn’t even get to a toilet.
The claims have surfaced over in the United States where two-time US presidential hopeful and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is set to meet Amazon staff in Alabama.
The staff there are launching a bid to unionise – the largest such bid in Amazon’s history with 5,800 potential votes.
In an attempt to get ahead of the bid, Amazon exec Dave Clark, hit out at Sanders on Twitter.
‘I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace for our constituents: a $15 minimum wage, health care from day one, career progression, and a safe and inclusive work environment,’ Mr Clark tweeted.
This drew the ire of social media and led to the resurfacing of the urinating-in-bottles accusation.
Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan, wrote back: ‘Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust and make workers urinate in water bottles.’
And, in response to that came a tweet from the newly-formed Amazon News twitter account: ‘You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you?
‘If that were true, nobody would work for us.’
According to Recode, the official Twitter account was created at the behest of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos who wanted execs to ‘fight back’ against its critics.
The site states Bezos: ‘expressed dissatisfaction in recent weeks that company officials weren’t more aggressive in how they pushed back against criticisms of the company that he and other leaders deem inaccurate or misleading.’
Amazon itself has reportedly been fighting the unionisation plans in Alabama by plastering anti-union messages in places around the warehouse – such as in bathroom stalls.
Which the employees obviously wouldn’t see if they were emptying all their bathroom breaks into plastic bottles.
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