Amazon warehouse workers urinate in bottles to avoid discipline for 'idle time,' undercover author finds

An undercover author working at an Amazon warehouse in the U.K. discovered some employees urinated in bottles during their shifts because the restrooms were too far away and they didn't want to get in trouble for wasting time, according to Business Insider.

Author James Bloodworth went undercover as an employee at a Staffordshire, U.K.-based Amazon warehouse to compile research for a book about low wages in Britain. He described a "toilet bottle" system some fulfillment workers used to avoid taking bathroom breaks.

"For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs," Mr. Bloodworth told The Sun. "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."

In a separate survey of 241 Amazon fulfillment workers in the U.K., nearly three-fourths said they were afraid to use the restroom due to time concerns.

To maintain high efficiency, Amazon tracks warehouse workers' performance, imposes strict targets and issues warnings to individuals who fail to meet their goals or who take long breaks. However, the company said it does not time employees' bathroom breaks.

"Amazon provides a safe and positive workplace for thousands of people across the U.K. with competitive pay and benefits from day one," the company said in a statement to Business Insider. "We have not been provided with confirmation that the people who completed the survey worked at Amazon, and we don't recognize these allegations as an accurate portrayal of activities in our buildings."

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