Amazon Apologizes To Mark Pocan For Snarky (And Incorrect) Pee Bottles Tweet

Amazon has issued an apology for a pair of tweets from its company information account attacking Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Calif.) for criticizing the corporate’s office atmosphere amid a giant unionization push at a success heart in Alabama.

“This was an own-goal, we’re unhappy about it, and we owe an apology to Representative Pocan,” Amazon stated in a statement Friday.

Pocan responded Saturday morning.

“Sigh. This is not about me, this is about your workers ― who you don’t treat with enough respect or dignity,” he wrote. 

Amazon has been combating a union drive at a Bessemer, Alabama, facility that threatens to offer unionization efforts a lift elsewhere throughout the nation. The firm raised eyebrows final week for a sequence of uncharacteristically snotty responses to politicians who had been tweeting about its employees and enterprise practices.

It was a method that reportedly got here from the very high ― Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wished his company communications crew to reply extra aggressively towards prices of unfair labor practices, in accordance to Recode

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), amongst others, has voiced robust assist for Amazon employees’ push for higher situations. Last Wednesday, Amazon government Dave Clark snarkily welcomed the senator to the Alabama facility in a tweet sarcastically thanking him for his work on behalf of American employees. 

“I often say we are the Bernie Sanders of employers, but that’s not quite right because we actually deliver a progressive workplace,” Clark stated. 

It was Pocan who jumped in to reply to Clark. “Paying workers $15/hr doesn’t make you a ‘progressive workplace’ when you union-bust & make workers urinate in water bottles,” he tweeted. 

Amazon News, a company Amazon Twitter account, responded to Pocan in a tone just like Clark’s. 

“You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us,” the tweet learn. 

It is, in actual fact, well-documented that Amazon employees are topic to strict and physically demanding protocols. Some employees say they often take excessive measures to keep away from stopping their work, as a result of an excessive amount of “time off task,” as Amazon calls breaks, may end up in self-discipline. 

It is much less frequent for Amazon’s warehouse employees to take rest room shortcuts, nonetheless, than it’s for delivery drivers, who’ve issue discovering public restrooms ― particularly throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

In its Friday assertion, Amazon acknowledged that the tweet was fallacious. 

“It did not contemplate our large driver population and instead wrongly focused only on our fulfillment centers,” the corporate defined, saying it’s conscious that supply drivers wrestle to search out restrooms and pledging to assist discover a resolution to the “industry-wide” drawback.

Amazon then differentiated its drivers from its success heart employees. 

“A typical Amazon fulfillment center has dozens of restrooms, and employees are able to step away from their work station at any time. If any employee in a fulfillment center has a different experience, we encourage them to speak to their manager and we’ll work to fix it.”

Amazon’s apology to Pocan was printed late on Friday, which could possibly be interpreted as an effort to place it out quietly. The firm additionally remained mum on Amazon News’ different tweets targeting Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has additionally confirmed herself considered one of Amazon’s loudest critics in Congress. 

Amazon employees have already voted on the unionization query, however their ballots are nonetheless being counted, in accordance to Nearly 6,000 ballots had been despatched out. Results are anticipated within the subsequent week. 

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