• Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A UK undercover reporter exposed the disturbing working conditions of Amazon warehouse workers...

Amazon workers feel so much pressured to meet the goals of the organization that they have to adjust their natural body demands. In an undercover report, journalist James Bloodworth revealed that workers at an Amazon warehouse in the UK are forced to forego bathroom breaks to meet the high demands of their jobs. As an alternative, the workers are forced to pee in bottles or trash cans to stay at work and meet the exponentially increasing targets. 

Amazon workers are forced to pee in bottles

Source: Business Insider

Amazon Workers Skip Bathroom Breaks to Keep Their Jobs

In a warehouse in Staffordshire, UK, workers responsible for picking up products for shipping have devised new ways of coping with the rising job demands. They are forced to use bottles for their call of nature instead of going to the toilet that is located at a far distance. Bloodworth noted that the workers are afraid of facing punishments for idling, which can result in the loss of their jobs. In addition, the warehouse is fully equipped with high-security systems to ensure workers do not bring any banned items. The high-security scanners at the warehouse check workers for items like sunglasses, hoodies, and phones. The condition is made even worse by employees who check other worker’s clothes for stolen goods. 

Bloodworth’s report is not the first of its kind. The worker rights platform Organise conducted a survey that revealed that 74% of Amazon workers skip toilet breaks because they are afraid of being that they failed to reach their target numbers. They fear losing their jobs for taking frequent bathroom breaks.

74 percent Amazon workers skip toilet breaks afraid of facing punishments

Source: Organise

The rising goals and demands at work have further affected the mental health of employees. About 55% of Amazon workers report suffering depression due to work demands, while over 80% of Amazon workers say they would never apply for another job opportunity at the company. 

55 percent Amazon worders suffer from depression due to work
Over 80 percent of Amazon workers would not work for Amazon again

Source: Organise

The Rising Workplace Anxiety at Amazon

The working conditions at Amazon are deplorable affecting almost all aspects of worker's lives. The company does not give employees adequate breaks, including both sick days or leave for pregnant workers. The workers have learned to work under the presumption that they are not supposed to be ill. Although the company presents the employees with a sick bot for illness, an employee will still need to see the supervisor for discussion about their job conduct. The breaks offered by the company include a two 15-minute paid breaks and one unpaid break of 30 minutes. Although this structure conforms to most of the state labor laws in the US, workers have to walk a distance to the break area. Bloodworth noted that the break times do not help give that the employees had to take stairs four floors below to reach the nearest bathroom. This depleted their break time, and instead, they choose to spend the break at the work area. 

In their response, Amazon stated that they provide a safe working place for their employees with competitive compensation. The company further stated that they cannot confirm that the participants of the survey were workers at Amazon. As such allegations do not accurately portray the activities of their building. In support of their defense, Amazon stated they aim at providing a great working environment for their employees. This has seen the company being ranked first in the US as the most sought-after place to work and seventh in the UK. The company also provides public tours to allow customers to get the first-hand experience of what happens when the buy with Amazon. 

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