Apr 3 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc has apologized to a US lawmaker and admitted that it had scored an own goal in its initial rebuttal to claims that some of its delivery men were sometimes forced to urinate in bottles during their delivery routes.

“We know that drivers can and do have trouble finding restrooms due to traffic or sometimes rural routes, and this has been especially the case during COVID when many public restrooms have been closed,” the company said in an entry. blog.

The recognition came a week after Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan criticized working conditions at Amazon with a tweet saying: “Paying workers $ 15 an hour does not make you a ‘progressive workplace.’ when you break unions and make workers pee in water bottles. “

Amazon initially issued a denial with a tweet: “You don’t really believe peeing in bottles, do you? If that were true, no one would work for us.” But he later retracted the comments.

“It was an own goal, we are unhappy and we owe Representative Pocan an apology,” Amazon said on its blog, adding that its previous response only referred to personnel in its warehouses or distribution centers.

The company said that the problem was of the entire sector and that it would seek solutions, without specifying which ones.

Amazon’s apology comes as workers at an Alabama distribution center are awaiting a vote recount that could lead to the first union organizing at the online retailer in the United States and mark a watershed moment. for unionism.

Amazon has long discouraged organizing attempts by its more than 800,000 employees in the United States. Complaints by many about a stressful or unsafe workplace have made unionization at the company a key goal of the American labor movement.

(Report of Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)

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