Amazon workers pee into bottles to save time: investigator
Amazon warehouse staff are peeing in bottles because bathrooms are hundreds of yards away.
One ex-worker said staffers fear they’ll get into trouble for taking too long away from the job.
The Amazon warehouse in question measures 700,000 square feet, and some of the 1,200 workers face a 10-minute, quarter-mile walk to reach the two toilets on the ground floor of the four-story building.
Undercover investigator James Bloodworth said in his book “Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain“: “For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs.”
Bloodworth, who worked 10-hour shifts as a picker selecting goods for dispatch, walked 10 miles a day at Amazon while doing research for his book.
Bloodworth claimed workers were continually monitored for time-wasting by supervisors.
It meant workers operated a “toilet bottle” system.
Bloodworth said: “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.”
He said the warehouse in Rugeley, Staffordshire, is like a prison, with airport-style security scanners where workers are checked and patted down in case they steal. Rugeley is 125 miles northwest of London.
An Amazon spokesman said: “Amazon ensures all of its associates have easy access to toilet facilities which are just a short walk from where they are working.
“Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people across the UK with competitive pay and benefits from day one.
“We have a focus on ensuring we provide a great environment for all our employees and last month Amazon was named by LinkedIn as the 7th most sought after place to work in the UK and ranked first place in the US.”