Amazon Apologizes To Rep. 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 surroundings amid an enormous unionization push at a success middle in Alabama.

“This was an own-goal, we’re sad about it, and we owe an apology to Consultant Pocan,” Amazon mentioned in an announcement Friday.

Pocan responded Saturday morning.

“Sigh. This isn’t about me, that is about your staff ― who you don’t deal with with sufficient respect or dignity,” he wrote. 

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

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

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), amongst others, has voiced sturdy assist for Amazon staff’ push for higher circumstances. Final 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 staff. 

“I usually say we’re the Bernie Sanders of employers, however that’s not fairly proper as a result of we really ship a progressive office,” Clark mentioned. 

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

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

“You don’t actually consider the peeing in bottles factor, do you? If that had been true, no person would work for us,” the tweet learn. 

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

It’s much less frequent for Amazon’s warehouse staff to take toilet shortcuts, nevertheless, than it’s for supply drivers, who’ve problem discovering public restrooms ― particularly through the coronavirus pandemic. 

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

“It didn’t ponder our giant driver inhabitants and as a substitute wrongly targeted solely on our success facilities,” the corporate defined, saying it’s conscious that supply drivers wrestle to search out restrooms and pledging to assist discover a answer to the “industry-wide” downside.

Amazon then differentiated its drivers from its success middle staff. 

“A typical Amazon success middle has dozens of restrooms, and staff are in a position to step away from their work station at any time. If any worker in a success middle has a unique expertise, we encourage them to talk to their supervisor and we’ll work to repair it.”

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

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

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