During an undercover investigation, an author documented Amazon warehouse employees peeing into bottles due to their fears of being sanctioned for taking toilet breaks.
“For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs,” claimed author James Bloodworth. “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.”
Bloodworth’s claims were corroborated by responses to a survey of Amazon workers.
“[Targets] have increased dramatically. I do not drink water because I do not have time to go to the toilet,” declared one response.
Another employee claimed, “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,” while other employees even admitted to not drinking water throughout their work shift for fear of having to use the toilet.
Last year, another undercover investigation revealed that Amazon warehouse employees were worked to exhaustion, causing employees to pass out at work.
“Their toilet breaks are timed, and the (reportedly disgusting and ill-maintained) toilets are over a quarter mile away within the vast complex,” reported the Mirror’s Alan Selby in November. “Inactivity at the station is timed, even for those breaks, so employees are often forced to keep themselves from even going to the bathroom, lest it take too long.”
Amazon was recently granted patents for employee wristbands, which would “pinpoint the location of warehouse employees and track their hand movements in real time,” while also telling employees where to go.