business

In apology, Amazon admits some drivers in U.S. have to 'pee in bottles'

31 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
Login to comment

Love to see Jeff Bezos Pee-in a bottle .

Amazon has reached the point of NO Return when trying to beat the competition and drive profits straight up with little or NO regards for the people who made it what it is.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

It isn't always so simple. I drove gasoline tankers to pay for grad school. Long shifts of 10-14 hours at night, sometimes making local deliveries but often having to drive a couple of hours out of town to smaller regional cities and town to make deliveries. At night especially, very few places are open and most won't let you use their rest room. The gas station you are delivering to is closed, what do you do? Go in the bushes? Sometimes but sometimes you need to sit. Parking a big semi in a 7-11 parking lot isn't an easy thing and some stores will tell you to get your truck off their property. There have been times i was popping sweat beads I had to go so bad and a store clerk refused to let me go. It forces creativity to go in the field and not create a mess, or get arrested for indecent exposure and be forced to register as a sex offender (yes this happens to people who go outdoors and cop sees you even though nothing even remotely related to sex was involved other than having one's trousers down). Driving trucks was an awful way to make a living but some of the problems are not under the employers control. When a store has a rest room and they tell you to go away, not open to the public, even after pleading, what do you do?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Amazon's truck drivers and factory workers all suffer from horrible work conditions caused by its agressive business practices and massive volume of shipments among other things. Bezos is a scumbag, but the consumers are partially to blame for making unnecessary purchases and using express delivery.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Couriers and tradesmen who work out of vans have been peeing in plastic bottles for decades. Although excessive targets may increase it, there simply aren't the public toilets available to support them, and most of those that do exist have been closed during the pandemic. Whilst it wouldn't surprise me if workers across multiple sectors are faced with excessive workloads and intrusive monitoring, peeing in bottles has always come with the job for anyone who is van-based.

All jobs have a bunch of lousy elements in them. That's why they call it 'work'. If you enjoyed it, it would be a hobby and you wouldn't need to be paid for it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

This sounds more like a problem of not having enough access to restrooms in the US rather than an Amazon induced over workload one. Japan is much much better in this regard.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Well I see not much has changed in nearly 40 years.

I used to work summers as a truck driver this was not uncommon way back then, laws in my country change making it mandatory for drivers to take toilet and rest breaks.

Didn't change my situation as I was a "suicide jockey" ( drove a truck full of explosives for a hydroelectric dam project, and prohibited from stopping in public places).

But the law did make it better for my friends and colleagues that was well over 30 years ago.

Seems the USA as usual us far behind most other developed countries on this sort of thing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Amazon's truck drivers and factory workers all suffer from horrible work conditions caused by its agressive business practices and massive volume of shipments among other things. Bezos is a scumbag, but the consumers are partially to blame for making unnecessary purchases and using express delivery.

Sounds exactly like FedEx Ground when I worked there. The old saying there was "part time is full time and full time is all the time". Then the terminal manager calls your home at 1100am after working all night 11 or 12 hours to scream his lungs out at you. Really makes you want to go back to work. Package handlers were not supposed to work more than 6 hours on any shift or 29.5 hours a week. Reality was package handlers working over 8 hours with no breaks at all. Hours over 29.5 went unpaid on a promise to "make it up next week". Managers lied on time cards as a matter of routine, clocking employees out even as they remained at work for an hour or two more. I am just amazed FedEx Ground has never been busted for this but everyone is hungry and afraid to speak out lest they be black listed.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Amazon's truck drivers and factory workers all suffer from horrible work conditions caused by its agressive business practices and massive volume of shipments among other things. Bezos is a scumbag, but the consumers are partially to blame for making unnecessary purchases and using express delivery.

The whole of the transportation industry is like this. Even airline pilots, especially the regional airlines, push their people to the absolute limit, playing games like trying to call the time you flight planning, doing your pre-flight inspection or are sitting there unboarding and boarding at an airport before departing for the next "off duty" so they can work you more hours.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Desert Tortoise

Having never worked as a driver in the USA don't the trucks have log books and some form of speed/millage counter (40 years ago most trucks I drive had a 24 hour locked box with an analog counter).

We regularly got stopped by the RCMP, OPP, QPP, etc...for inspection of our logs, became difficult to fudge them as the police noted in them last stop/check time and place if we ended up 500 km away when next stopped and it was not possible within our driving max hours then the company got some serious fines.

Doesn't the USA have something like that?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Driving trucks was an awful way to make a living but some of the problems are not under the employers control.

30, 40 years ago I would say yes.

But we are not 30, 40 or even 20 years ago.

Today with Google maps, GPS, etc.. routes can be pre determined easily with set rest stops at reasonable distances and times, 12 hours shifts on the road are illegal in most developed countries and for good reason.

I no longer drive trucks haven't in decades but I do drive long distances regularly for business, I map out my route ahead of time with stop/breaks time and place determine before including possible traffic/delays worked into it all,

I do this myself but software exists for this that can handle a fleet of vehicles.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So what? Most truck drivers do it here in Japan. Just take a walk on along any major route, and there is a half full pet bottle every 5 meters...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

With the money that Amazon makes, why not give the drivers a truck with a built in restrooms? They have them on other trucks at other companies. Seems if Amazon thinks of the staff as a family, they would take care of their family. But if Amazon does not think of its staff as family, let them use P##S JUGS?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These are some of the people who are are driving the progressive social agenda. They don't even love their own people much less wider society.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The lack of public toilets may or may not be a factor, but there was no excuse for workers in meat packing plants and slaughterhouses to dump their stuff there and then.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Having never worked as a driver in the USA don't the trucks have log books and some form of speed/millage counter 

Some truck companies I drove for ran tachographs but not all, and unless one was a "local driver", (100 air mile radius from home base and didn't work more than 12 hours) we had to run a log book. Some drivers ran more than one log book. There were highway patrol scales but the scales were not open all day every day and the cagey truck driver intent on breaking laws soon learned to go through when they were closed, or used routes to get around them, which is especially easy to do someplace like the LA basin. I always ran straight arrow by the book, it is how I was raised, and just got tired of the constant butting heads with managers and dispatchers who wanted you to cheat. It drains your soul to work for crooks. I lost a couple of friends who played the game and eventually went nighty-night with a tanker full of gasoline at the wrong time. FOOM ! The drivers were falsifying their logs and official time sheets and they were paid cash under the table for the hours not officially recorded. After the FBI and CHP were through with the company the tax man came after the drivers, state and Federal. You would think people would learn but there are too many trucking companies and too few cops and inspectors to keep them honest.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Today with Google maps, GPS, etc.. routes can be pre determined easily with set rest stops at reasonable distances and times, 12 hours shits on the road are illegal in most developed countries and for good reason.

It sounds so easy, but for a city driver making late night deliveries at closed gas stations there aren't a lot of places to handle the call of nature. The loading racks have porta potties if they have anything and who wants to sit down in the wee hours in a porta potty who's plastic walls are sweating moisture in the cool wet night air while your co-workers walk by and yell "push"? Yuck. And if your delivery is an hour or so from the loading rack you can arrive with a full bladder and no place to go except a dark corner somewhere hoping the station owner doesn't look at the recording later, call your employer and get you in trouble.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

*With the money that Amazon makes,** why not give the drivers a truck with a built in restrooms*

Yep, that's all what's needed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Desert Tortoise

Thanks for the clarification, very interesting.

I also followed all the rules to the letter but then I was driving mostly dynamite and other high explosives from southern parts of Quebec and Ontario on crappy "highways" ( highway in name only) up to Northern areas where a giant Dam project was underway. (Reason for taking that job was simple very dangerous but high pay for summer only, could pay rent, school, etc... On just that).

It was quite funny to watch other truckers do everything to keep far away and far back to avoid me.

But even pulling into a service station or service area, a town, etc.. was prohibited under safety laws, so a bottle or camping toilet was my only choice.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have a 16 year old daughter in high school, who does some casual work waiting in a restaurant. She earns more than $15 an hour.

The Amazon truckies hourly rate is appalling.

I am in Australia.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Amazon is bad. Capitalism is bad. Let's get rid of them both. I don't mind in which order we do it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

These are some of the people who are are driving the progressive social agenda.

They really aren't. If you treat your workers like machines, let them suffer injury and death, and oppose unionization, you're not progressive. Anti-worker, anti-human policies are distinctly right-wing.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Free Amazon bashing.

This existed a long time ago. While there's a time reason, drivers also want to avoid parking the truck.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope the driver (can be male or female, I know many from both sexes) don't get the pee bottle mixed up with a mountain dew bottle. They often look similar.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lazarus KnowsToday 03:43 pm JST

These are some of the people who are are driving the progressive social agenda.

They really aren't. If you treat your workers like machines, let them suffer injury and death, and oppose unionization, you're not progressive. Anti-worker, anti-human policies are distinctly right-wing.

Distinctly right wing? Is that so? So no one from the left wing operates a toxic work environment? Then please explain why Ellen Degeneres, one of the most far left leaning people in Hollywood (where most people are left leaning) has apologized for allowing a toxic work environment which is dominated by fear. You know, the person that said " be kind to one another" and working for her is "a place of happiness".

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-53606711

In your obvious hatred for anyone with a different opinion, don't think that only one side of the political isle is to blame for all of the world's problems and your side is eternally loving and compassionate. Life does not work that way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Distinctly right wing? Is that so?

Yep. Left wingers are pro-union and pro-worker. Right wingers are not.

So no one from the left wing operates a toxic work environment?

I never said that.

Then please explain why Ellen Degeneres, one of the most far left leaning people in Hollywood (where most people are left leaning) 

This just isn't true. She's close friends with George W. Bush, a right wing war criminal.

 has apologized for allowing a toxic work environment which is dominated by fear. You know, the person that said " be kind to one another" and working for her is "a place of happiness".

Sounds like she's a bad boss. That's why I support her show ending.

In your obvious hatred for anyone with a different opinion, don't think that only one side of the political isle is to blame for all of the world's problems and your side is eternally loving and compassionate.

You think that I both hate others and also am eternally loving? Hm. You need to rethink your sentences.

It's "aisle", by the way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What do the Female Amazon Truck/Van drivers do ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if they get issued with these:

https://www.amazon.com/Female-Portable-Urination-Device-Standing/dp/B07DB1Q6RQ?th=1

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Human rights needed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

With the money that Amazon makes,* why not give the drivers a truck with a built in restrooms

Yep, that's all what's needed.

Sigh. Where to start? First off who is emptying this toilet and where? Who has to clean it? Ever been in the sleeper of a truck? Not very roomy. Adding a toilet will force a much bigger sleeper. That adds weight, which means you can't haul as much freight. In the US in most states the whole tractor, trailer and its contents can weigh no more than 80,000 lbs. That weight declines if the distance between axles or the number of axles is reduced, driven by the weights most bridges can carry safely. And having been a fleet manager once I cannot imagine asking truck mechanics to work on a black water system and toilet. Now the yard is going to have to have the equivalent of an RV dump station? And who is responsible for the sanitation of this toilet? If you expect the driver to clean it, um, don't expect it to be clean. It will be left a mess for the next driver to deal with, or not, until it's a fragrant health hazard. No thank you. For an owner operator who takes care of their equipment and isn't hauling maximum loads (or has a permit for overweight loads or military loads) a big sleeper like that and a toilet will be ok. For a fleet truck slip seating drivers, no way. Even conventional sleepers without a toilet can be pretty rancid smelling if the drivers are a bunch of Oscar Madison's.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Amazon workers need unionization.

Stat.

Also, the American and Japanese governments need to look into Amazon’s business practices. Specifically their growing ability to engage in the censorship of books.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Lazarus KnowsApr. 6 04:48 pm JST

Distinctly right wing? Is that so?

Yep. Left wingers are pro-union and pro-worker. Right wingers are not.

So tell me about Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, the liberal Washington Post newspaper, among other companies. Mr. Bezos is more left leaning than right leaning. He is generally classified as being on the left. If left-wingers are pro-union and pro-worker, why is Amazon fighting the establishment of a union within Amazon and why this article about Amazon in the first place if left leaning Jeff Bezos owns the company? Not all left wingers are pro-union and not all right wingers are anti-union.

I commented on your remarks about Ellen DeGeneres, and your thinking that you are eternally loving, but it was removed as off topic.

You did get one thing correct. I spelt the word "aisle" incorrectly. I meant to do that and left off the "a".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites