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UK Amazon warehouse workers skip bathroom breaks to keep their jobs

Discussion in 'Random Chat' started by Guy, Apr 16, 2018.

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  1. Guy

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    I'm going to switch to eBay because of this!
     
  2. heybarkeep

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    Probably the right thing to do here but pick your battles when boycotting companies and products. Questionable work conditions can be hard to avoid unfortunately.
     
  3. JickyJuly

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    If they're working on a line, this is pretty normal. Not saying it's right, but that's how factories work. If you slow down your coworkers, they're going to be pissed and eventually you'll be fired. They used to be decent paying jobs because of the working conditions. If you boycott Amazon over it, you'll have to give up pretty much everything that's manufactured.
     
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  4. Guy

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    Its much more than that http://digg.com/2018/amazon-workers-pee
     
  5. heybarkeep

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    Probably increasingly difficult to avoid with how popular phones are. I doubt parts for those or things like laptops are being made under the most humane conditions. You ready to give up your phone for the cause @Guy?
     
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  6. JickyJuly

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    If you find this disturbing, you'll need to keep away from cars too. And, auto workers at least have a union. Tons of jobs don't allow for bathroom breaks every time you need them. Kindergarten teachers probably hold it endlessly. They have a union too. Capitalism is brutal.
     
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  7. heybarkeep

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    Always the option of being Amish I suppose. Pretty crazy how they manage to not be total self righteous dicks about how little damage they contribute. Almost too humble. Feel like they deserve to be smug about it.
     
  8. JickyJuly

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    And their baked goods are on point!
     
  9. SaffronBurke

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    People constantly got in trouble at my office job for using the bathroom too much. Excuse us for not wanting to piss/shit ourselves while sitting on soft chairs that will never be able to be cleaned properly after that.

    Hmm, maybe I should have just pissed myself once to make a point.....
     
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  10. Bocefish

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    Ever heard of fake news?

    I know several Amazon workers who love working there, on the assembly line and elsewhere. One IT worker I know got a job there because he is 65 and benefits kicked in day one.

    Don't believe everything you read without doing a little research on your own unless you enjoy posting stupid shit while looking like an attention whore.

    .02134
     
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  11. asia_lynn

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    I have worked for amazon and I can tell you that it is a horrific work environment. As can many of my friends. This goes all the way up to corporate. Comparing Amazon to other huge companies like google, apple, and microsoft, they absolutely treat their employees terribly. I've worked lots of factory, manufacturing, and pick pack jobs and amazon was the worst by a LANDSLIDE. Obviously you can't boycott every company that treats employees badly, but I do make a point not to buy from amazon or use their products even when its inconvenient.

    Edit- thats not to say every amazon employee is treated badly, that would be a ridiculous statement. But they're shitty enough for me to boycott.
     
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  12. Guy

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    What was your job at Amazon?
     
  13. asia_lynn

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    I worked graveyards in a fulfillment center
     
  14. CoffeeKnight

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    I kind of want to watch Witness again now.
     
  15. Luxy Reid

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    I've worked a position similar in intense productivity requirements. I bled through onto a chair once when I was on my period because I was behind and afraid I'd lose my job at the end of the week. I can't say I completely agree with how intense it was but it was also the kind of job I signed up for. I came back and held my head up high while my colleagues laughed. I moved on with life. I got paid for my work. The benefits and pay were stellar for the education requirements. You win some, you lose some. I think the depression part of this article is pretty stupid, who doesn't get depressed when working nearly any job? A lot of this sounds really whiney. My friends that work in labs that require 4 yr degrees still have to hold off and time their bathroom breaks, they get the same unpaid 30 min and paid 15 min breaks. Their vacation and maternity leave sounds about right for the first FIVE years you join a company as well.

    So what's the deal? If the point here is to tear down Amazon why not criticize all other companies too (big and small)? Is this funded by Trump? Lol

    Obviously I'd like the work conditions to get better, nobody needs to be pissing themselves or in a cup. But why single out one company when you could just criticize the entire work culture itself? Why appeal to emotion so hard this way? It reads cheap.
     
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  16. Luxy Reid

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    Also is this one person that pissed in a bottle? Or a regular thing amongst ten, hundreds of drivers? What if that guy just did that anyway at any job because of a specific medical condition? There's no further information here on that. Too much appeal to emotion here for me.

    Anyway I read the survey and once again Guy you are feeding into sensationalized articles.

    Edit; the only thing that would really change my mind here is finding out the pay isn't that stellar at Amazon. To be put on this high of a turnover rate position the pay should be at least 11-12/hr for no GED or hs diploma.
     
  17. asia_lynn

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    Here in Vancouver the starting wage is about $2 above minimum wage -$14 I think? I got paid $16 doing the same thing at a smaller business last year. It was less when I worked there. The job also included mandatory overtime which we were told would be voluntary when we were hired.

    They also gave us this little website hub type thing that was specifically made for reporting each other for things like 'complaining' ''taking too many bathroom breaks' 'talking to coworkers during work hours' etc. No one would talk to each other and everyone was constantly terrified of getting reported and suspicious of each other. You can fire employees without just cause in the first 3 months here and basically if you got reported for anything, no matter how small, more than once you wouldn't make it past that mark (hardly anyone did) I didn't get fired but I did get written up for 'distracting a coworker' when I asked them how their weekend was. I quit after that because I wasn't desprdesp for the job.

    One of my friends got fired because she couldn't stay 4 hours after the time she was scheduled to be off because she had a babysitter at home.

    I never saw anyone piss in a bottle but I did see a teenage girl collapse, I never found out if it was related to the job or a coincidence though

    Edit- oh yeah and you do need highschool diploma or equivalent
     
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  18. Luxy Reid

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    Alright, unpopular opinions time.

    A few things I want to address in your post. I'll number them because I'm on phone and don't want to split up your post in quotes. Sounds like a nightmare right now.

    1. I don't think these big distribution warehouses should be in some huge expensive city like van. I know where I'm located and I choose not to live in LA cali for a reason- because pay does not necessarily go up to match cost of living. It's just not how it works. Just like people know this, big corporations should know this too. I have no idea why Amazon chose van but it's still not in their best interest to give higher wages just because the cost of living is higher. If people don't like it then they will vote with their feet like you did-Whether leaving a company to horizontally jump or leave the city completely for a more affordable lifestyle.

    It does seem cruel to put it there. Where I am Amazon pays the same so I'm assuming they take the fair route. 14/hr is what some stem field college graduates start and stay at generally, even in big cities. I'd disclose what I was offered by a biochem start up in San Francisco out of school but I'm honestly too embarrassed. I just don't think that some discomfort at a work place that pays fair and well is worth griping too hard over. Yes, nobody needs to piss in bottles and nobody needs to be passing out on the line, or holding in a loaf otherwise they're going to vomit, but it does happen. I've passed out working at university because I couldn't clock out and had low blood sugar. I bawled like a fucking pussy I was so ill. I bought a soda and got to feeling better and continued my work. I know its not the complete same but my point is this: I didn't blame my boss or the organisation. It's just part of working on a schedule and being productive on somebody else's time. Its inconvenient. It sucks. Its work. You're on your feet for the entire time, no food, no water. Can't we generally say the same for almost any other job?

    You don't go to fun. You go to work. If work was meant to be convenient we'd all be lounging on a beach or in our beds getting paid to do literally whatever we wanted.

    2. My mother and many of my family members work factory line. I don't think that not talking to each other is the end of the world. They don't think so either. It sucks I wish they could enjoy work somewhat. But it does lower productivity. It lowers productivity as a cam girl even. I run a private chatzy room and nights I'm focused on an intense convo in there I'm earning less because I'm neglecting my room. It sucks you were written up just for asking someone how their weekend was, that's asinine. But I do understand the management perspective of if anyone is allowed this then they all will take advantage of this. You may be able to handle a simple convo but what about others? How will it effect their productivity?

    3. The getting fired for anything in the first 3 months thing is standard. Not worth complaining about. Nobody when new especially is entitled to any job whatsoever. Its called a probation period and Amazon is gracious in allowing only 3 months. Most companies do 6 months minimum and some even after that you're still a 1099 worker.

    4. I don't agree with the forcing ot on someone, that is something that needs to be pressured but not a requirement, and certainly not have their employment contingent upon a surprise ot shift. Withholding promotions or raises I understand but being fired over not being able to stay without prior conferment is pretty shitty.


    Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's very enlightening. It hurts my heart to hear similar experiences from my mom on the line; my opinions and experiences may be drawing from an abused class of workers as well, but my general view probably remains unchanged. I do think for the amount of money with minimal education is a win some-lose some game.
     
    #19 Luxy Reid, Apr 19, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  19. asia_lynn

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    I totally respect your opinion, like I said I don't think amazon is the worst company in the world or anything like that, but I can choose not to support them so I do.

    As to being in van, it's not literally in downtown van, there are distribution centers all over the lower mainland, quite close to each other. Most employees travel pretty far to get to work.

    Also the 3 month thing- that's canada wide I believe, or at least BC wide. Nothing to do with amazon. They couldn't do 6 months if they wanted to.

    I think wages are different where you live than they are here, also I'm not sure what country you're from but worth mentioning that Canadian dollar is different. But amazon is the lowest paying warehouse work iveI seen on any job board around here. I've never seen another one that started below 16 here, and it's very easy to make 20+ with unskilled labour.

    I do understand your points though, and ultimately it's a choice to work there, and for people who really need the money I'm sure they ot and benefits are really great.

    Still, having worked in warehouses for large Canadian companies such as Loblaws, and smaller ones like production bakeries, I know that amazon can and should do better.
     
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  20. Luxy Reid

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    Super informative! Glad to hear Canada has better standards for line and factory work. I see we are comparing apples to oranges here then since I grew up in factory town USA.

    I will disagree that Amazon should necessarily do better- obviously it is up to them to raise wages and improve work conditions, but they're not concurrently if this article is accurate. If they refuse to raise their standards to compete then their workers will leave, production will go down, and they'll be forced to either compensate or close down shop in Canada, or van, at least. I understand Amazon is a huge company but if they can't play ball with the rest of em then I think they should sink and stay in the locations and countries they are willing to match with. Just like minimal education workers need to suck it up sometimes, big corps need to as well to survive and grow their capital collectively.

    Question: how were your experiences at the other warehouses just out of curiosity?
     
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  21. SaffronBurke

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    Hell, there are a lot of dudes who just piss in bottles because it's easy and they're lazy. I had a roommate who kept a piss bottle under his bed because apparently getting up and going to the bathroom at night was too much work? A coworker of mine at the haunted house I used to work at also had an under-bed piss bottle. My uncle keeps a piss bottle in his "man cave".
     
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  22. asia_lynn

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    Everywhere else ive worked have been generally positive work environments. Break starts when you get to ther break room, not before. There is no culture of reporting each other for anything unless you do something any reasonable person would deem worth reporting. Company arranged parties and social events, free meals. Monthly surveys to see how employees feel about their jobs and where there's room for improvement from management. Employees always worked in pairs and we're encouraged to help each other do well. Maybe idealistic seeming to you sure, but if other companise can manage it and succeed there's no argument for treating your workers like garbage. Of course benefits took 3 months to kick in and ot wasn't as common but you started at at least 15-16, promotions were common, and it was possible to actually keep the job long term, no one worried about getting fired at any moment
     
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  23. asia_lynn

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    Sorry, couldn't edit in time but for perspective- my partner cleans dairy coolers for a living for a huge grocery store company and makes $28. He's a superviors though, his co-workers make $21 to start. Not quite the same as line work but same kind of no education needed labor.
     
  24. Guy

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    Some people store bottles of their urine and sell them to drug addicts.
    https://askthepsych.com/atp/2008/10/08/storing-bottles-of-urine/
     
  25. Emberblaze

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    I honestly think our Canadian expectations of labour standards are probably so far off from US labour standards that's it's apples to oranges for sure.

    Canadians: OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS EMPLOYER DID THIS, THAT'S SO ILLEGAL.
    Americans: Wait... That's illegal? Everyone does it here...

    I think we probably have better standards in the workplace here. I could be wrong but I see things all the time where I'm just like "WTF AMERICA."

    I belong to another forum that's primarily Americans. A lot of lower to middle class folks and I see them post things about work that I'm shocked is even legal.
     
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  26. n_i_c_u

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    At my job, just from what I have observed over the past few years, the guy above me comes in to work somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00 and then heads to the bathroom. He's in there for about an hour. Then he goes and chats with people and MAYBE might do some work until he leaves for lunch at 11:30. He comes back from lunch at 1:00 to 1:30. He proceeds to go back to the bathroom where he spends another hour. I think form 2:30 to 5:00 he may or may not work. He goes somewhere because he isn't at his desk. I feel like a jerk saying anything, but, when work he should be doing is passed on to me, it sucks.

    A lot of us at work wonder if he will get hemorrhoids or wonder if he really has a problem (I think he's just playing video games on his phone).

    It is strange how in some corporations are so lenient but others are so rigid. I wish people wouldn't take advantage of the situations and I wish corporations wouldn't be unrealistic. I drink a lot of water at work and pee a lot (that's how I know the guy is in the stall) soooo I really sympathize with people having to pee at work.
     
  27. SaffronBurke

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    Well, everyone I've known who keeps a piss bottle smokes weed, and some of them do meth, so that's not an option for them. They're just too lazy to go to the bathroom at night.
     
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  28. heybarkeep

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    Isn't just addicts that cheat on drug tests. Many responsible and casual users do too. Can't recall anyone trying this option. I remember the drinks at head shops being the most popular option. Some would take those pills that would make you pour sweat out for hours. Even fake urine was popular. The psych doesn't seem to have much first hand experience and is either assuming or going by what he has heard on some of the topics. Know plenty of speed freaks and have never heard of drinking it.

    Was never willing to risk failing a test so I'd always just quit. Glad to not have to worry about it now because I am stocked on those oil cartridges and will be enjoying the holiday properly. Happy 4/20 yall.
     
  29. Lelo1

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    I don't know how long amazon packaging jobs are going to be around for.

    They're getting really close to getting robots to do packaging.


    Moving goods around the warhorse use to be a job.


    Sorting use to be a job.


    Prepackaging is becoming 'robot centric'. It's going to change how goods are package.
     

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