Amazon warehouse workers skip bathroom breaks to keep their jobs, says report

Amazon warehouse workers are forced to urinate in bottles or give up bathroom breaks because enforcement demands are too high, according to journalist James Bloodworth, who worked undercover as an Amazon worker for his book , Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-wage Britain . According to reports, the targets increased exponentially, according to the workers in a new survey revealed during the weekend and, as a result, they feel pressured and stressed to meet the new targets.

Workers who pick up products for delivery at a warehouse in Staffordshire, United Kingdom bottles instead of the actual toilet, which is located too far away, Bloodworth reported. They are afraid of being disciplined for remaining inactive and losing their jobs as a result, he added . Bloodworth said The Sun in an interview that the store looked like a prison or an airport, with high-security scanners that check workers for prohibited items like sweatshirts, sunglasses and phones, and others employees who caress workers to verify the theft of goods.

Bloodworth's findings are in line with the first-hand accounts collected in the survey of workers' rights platform Organize, which reported that 74 percent of workers avoid using the bathroom for fear that they will be warned that they did not reach their goal. The increasing targets have also affected the mental health of employees, since 55 percent of them say they have suffered depression since working at Amazon. More than 80 percent of workers said they would not apply again for a job at Amazon.

Amazon apparently does not allow employees enough time to rest, let alone sick days, and that also includes people who may be pregnant. "From your point of view, we have no right to be sick," wrote a worker who is anonymous in the Organize survey. Another worker said that, although they had presented a sick note for being sick, their supervisor still called a meeting to discuss their behavior. An anonymous source close to the situation said The Verge that Amazon did not supervise bathroom breaks and that it offered private health insurance to its employees.

" They hurt me at work and took me to the hospital. The next day, someone called me and asked me why I was not working. I explained to them, but it was still marked, not call, do not show & # 39; ", wrote another employee of a different warehouse in the United Kingdom.

The workers described the breaks as an unpaid break of 30 minutes and two paid breaks of 15 minutes, which is a structure similar to that required by many labor laws. of the United States with respect to rest periods, but despite having legally compatible rest periods, workers noticed that they had to walk quite far from their main work area to the rest area, which greatly diminished measured the amount of time they had left to rest.

Amazon said in a statement to The Verge "Amazon offers a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people throughout the United Kingdom with a competitive salary and benefits from the first day. We have not been given confirmation that the people who completed the survey worked on Amazon and we do not recognize these allegations as an accurate description of the activities in our buildings. "

The company continued:" We have a focus ensuring that we provide an excellent environment for all our employees and last month, Amazon was named by LinkedIn as the place [seventh] most wanted to work in the United Kingdom and ranked first in the US. UU Amazon also offers public visits to its fulfillment centers so customers can see first-hand what happens after clicking on "buy" on Amazon. "