||| McClatchy | The Sacramento Bee |||
A poll of 100 Amazon workers found half of them were depressed and eight were suicidal. A man named James Bloodworth worked at an Amazon warehouse in Rugeley, Staffordshire and he claims that staff urinated in bottles to save time out of fear of being chastised. Amazon says they provide a safe, positive workplace and do not recognize the allegations as being accurate.
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Of the 100 people surveyed, eight of them said they'd thought about killing themselves. The study was conducted by a company which campaigns for employment unions called Organise. Bloodworth also described ten-hour shifts at a warehouse in Rugeley where staff were afraid of getting in trouble for taking restroom breaks and had resorted to peeing in bottles.
The Amazon warehouse in Rugeley measures 700,000 square feet and its 1,200 workers must walk a quarter mile to use the restroom which amounts to a ten-minute walk. "For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs," Bloodworth said. He explained how workers were continually monitored for time wasting by supervisors and claimed the strict conditions led to the "toilet bottle" system.
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"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 also described the warehouse in Rugeley as a prison complete with airport-style security scanners where workers are patted down and scanned to prevent stealing.
Amazon argues they are not convinced the staff polled actually work for them and a spokesman for the company said, "We haven't been provided with confirmation the people who completed the survey worked at Amazon. We don't recognize these allegations as an accurate portrayal of activities in our buildings. 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."
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