Amazon warehouse workers pee into bottles because they are scared of being punished for taking a comfort break

Amazon warehouse workers have to pee into bottles because they are too scared of missing their targets if they walk to the bathroom.

Author James Bloodworth went undercover at an Amazon fulfilment centre in Staffordshire and said staff feared being disciplined for "idle time."

A survey of Amazon workers released on Monday found those who reported feeling sick - even through pregnancy - were penalised for not turning up or taking breaks - writes nordic.businessinsider.com

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos might be the richest man in the world, with a net worth of around $112 billion (£78.4 billon) , but those working on his warehouse floors are so desperate to keep their jobs that they don't even take time to go the toilet.

Rushed fulfilment workers, who run around Amazon's warehouses "picking" products for delivery, have a "toilet bottle" system in place because the toilet is too far away, according to author James Bloodworth, who went undercover at a warehouse in Staffordshire, UK, for a book on low wages in Britain.

Bloodworth told The Sun : "For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs. People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being ­disciplined over 'idle time' and ­losing their jobs just because they needed the loo."

Amazon is famous for tracking how fast its warehouse workers can pick and package items from its shelves, imposing strictly timed breaks and targets. It issues warning points for those who don't meet their goals or take extended breaks.

A survey of Amazon workers, released on Monday, found almost three-quarters of fulfilment centre staff are afraid of using the toilet in case they miss their targets.

"[Targets] have increased dramatically. I do not drink water because I do not have time to go to the toilet," the survey quotes one anonymous worker as saying.

Another said: "The target grows every year. I do not have two more legs yet to make the 100% to pick, where you actually need to run and go to the toilet just during the break. Packing 120 products per hour is terribly heavy.

"You have to pack two products per minute. You do not have time to drink water because you go to the toilet after every evening sends messages to the scanner with the target and tells you to hurry."

The survey, compiled by worker campaign platform Organise, also found that workers felt considerably more anxious after joining Amazon.

Workers punished for being sick

Another employee said she was ill while pregnant, and was still handed warning points.

And yet another said: "I turned up for my shift even though I felt like shit, managed 2 hours then I just could not do anymore. Told my supervisor and was signed off sick, I had a gastric bug (sickness and diarrhoea, very bad) saw my doc. Got a sick note with an explanation, but still got a strike."

Amazon has not immediately responded to Business Insider's request for comment, but the firm told The Sun:

"Amazon ensures all of its associates have easy access to toilet facilities which are just a short walk from where they are working. "Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people across the UK with competitive pay and benefits from day one. "We have a focus on ensuring we provide a great environment for all our employees and last month Amazon was named by LinkedIn as the 7th most sought after place to work in the UK and ranked first place in the US."

nordic.businessinsider.com
Amazonwarehouseworkers workingconditions
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
3 views in november
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
A 20-year-old woman had a bag stolen from her at knife point during a robbery at an isolated bus stop in Dublin. The shocking incident happened at the bus stop at the Blanchardstown slip road on the N3 which serves routes heading to Co Meath. Gardai have told Dublin Live that the woman received a minor injury to her hand during the robbery. No arrests have been made so far in connection with the incident and the investigation is continuing. A garda spokesw...
Crime
Two foreign- nationals have been arrested after over €2 million worth of Heroin was seized in Dublin Airport. A man in his 30s and woman in her 50s were taken into custody after Revenue Officers caught the massive 15kg haul which had made its way over from Pakistan. The woman, who was accompanied by a small child, was met by the man in arrivals before they were arrested and taken to Ballymun Garda Station. A Revenue spokesperson said that the arrests came...
Society
Inner City Helping Homeless are asking for the public's help in filling a Luas with gifts this Christmas. Fill A Luas asks the public to donate a shoebox of gifts to the homeless at Connolly Luas Stop on Thursday, December 6. This is the fourth year of the charity event. This year, Fill A Luas will be a week-long event to give people more time to donate a shoebox over the holidays with the aim of collecting more than the record of 20,000 shoeboxes. The pub...
Incidents
The sightings of UFOs over the coast by three sets of airline pilots has led to Ireland being seen as a hotbed of alien activity. It has emerged the crews who reported an unidentified object streaking through the skies over Co Kerry are not alone. Dublin Live has been inundated with reports of similar sightings around the country in recent weeks. The Irish Aviation Authority has begun an investigation into the appearance of the mysterious objects which wer...
Society
Ombudsman Peter Tyndall has expressed his disappointment that the Health Service Executive has not fully implemented the recommendations made in his 2015 investigation into the healthcare system. The Ombudsman's 2015 report, Learning to Get Better, found that many people were afraid to complain about the treatment they receive in hospitals and that many hospitals were not learning important lessons from complaints they receive.  The HSE and Department of H...
Society
A new programme aimed at helping immigrant teachers find work in Irish schools opens to applicants today. The course, at Dublin’s Marino Institute of Education, aims to provide immigrants who are qualified teachers, but not working as such, with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enable them to find employment here. Recent research has found that while Ireland’s school student population is now highly diverse, teachers here continue to be overwhelmin...
Society
EU and UK negotiators have agreed a text that deals with the Irish border, RTÉ News understands. The text was agreed at around 9pm last night and then transmitted to Downing Street. While two well-placed sources have confirmed that the text was "as stable as it can be", they say it would not be correct to say that the negotiations have "concluded". According to both sources, there will be one backstop to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The ba...
Politics
The Cabinet will meet this morning to consider developments around the draft text of a Brexit withdrawal agreement. Yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar put his colleagues on standby for this morning's meeting, which is due to be held at 9.30am. Mr Varadkar and the Tánaiste will update their Government colleagues on what has happened over the last 24 hours. It follows a meeting last night between Mr Varadkar, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Minister for Finance Pasch...
Society
A number of events have taken place around the country and in Northern Ireland to mark the centenary of the ending of World War I. Locations where ceremonies have taken place include Belfast, Enniskillen, Cork, Limerick, Sligo, Kilkenny, Westmeath, Galway and Tipperary. In Cork city, Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Mick Finn laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on the Grand Parade. He was joined by relatives of those who died in WWI and members of the Cork branch of the...