Amazon drivers reveal they ‘pee in bottles and face intimidation and missing wages’ in disturbing account of working for delivery company

AMAZON drivers are forced to pee in bottles, break the speed limit and face intimidation from bosses to get their deliveries out in time, it has been claimed.

Drivers across the US have revealed the shocking pressures placed on their shoulders by courier firms working for the online giant.

One driver even claimed he was told to hold off going to hospital after badly injuring his hand after the truck door slammed on it cutting it down to the bone.

Others complained of missed wages, being unable to stop for food and having to break traffic laws to get the packages out on time.

One manager of a New Jersey based courier company told Business Insider: "The work is brutal.

"Drivers have to pee in bottles in their vans all the time."

Amazon hires courier companies through an online process and all they need are vans and insurance to apply.

On its website the company, which was recently valued at $1 trillion (£77 billion), says: "Start your business with as little as $10,000 (£7,700). Logistics experience not required."

The whole process can take as little as four weeks at which point they are put into a system and assigned routes.

Each route for a single driver has a daily volume of between 250 and 300 packages on average, but drivers said it could be as high as 400 during peak periods.

Amazon also provides the electronic devices — known internally as "rabbits" — that drivers use for scanning each package and route navigation.

Courier companies pay drivers either a flat rate of between $125 (£96) and $150 (£115) a day or an hourly rate of between $13 (£10) and $15 (£11.55) an hour, according to drivers.

The drivers are supposed to get 30-minute lunch breaks and two additional 15-minute breaks  during their day but say that stopping to eat or use the loo would make them fall behind.

Ann Chval said female drivers at Tennessee-based JARS TD, where she was a driver in 2017, brought buckets and baby wipes to work so they could pee in their trucks.

Marvic Trejo, a driver who has worked for two companies delivering packages for Amazon, said: "It's disgusting.

"There's no place in society to have people p***ing in a bottle.”

Drivers also claimed they were frequently not paid for overtime with one Texas based firm admitting they didn’t pay drivers overtime for at least a year.

Others claimed they felt powerless to address problems at work fearing they would be fired or have their wages docked.

Justin Waring, a former driver, told Business Insider: "If I didn't come in on my day off, they threatened to fire me.”

When contacted by The Sun Online, an Amazon spokesperson referred to the statements it had issued to Business Insider.

These read: "While it is impossible to characterise a network of thousands of delivery drivers based on anecdotes, we do recognise small businesses sometimes need more support when scaling fast.

"We have worked with our partners, listened to their needs, and have implemented new programs to ensure small delivery businesses serving Amazon customers have the tools they need to deliver a great customer and employee experience.

"Our recently launched Delivery Service Partner program offers a number of new features including customized branded vehicles for delivery, preventative vehicle maintenance services, low-cost vehicle and employee insurance plans, and a payroll system customized for their business.

"We are simultaneously recruiting new businesses into this program and transitioning our existing delivery partners into this new program."

"Hundreds of delivery associates are working full-time jobs that offer competitive pay and comprehensive benefits through their delivery service provider.

"Amazon requires all delivery service providers to abide by applicable laws and Amazon's Supplier Code of Conduct, which focuses on fair wages, appropriate working hours and compensation,"

“We investigate any claim that a provider isn't complying."

"The majority of drivers complete their daily routes in under nine hours, which factor in breaks, traffic patterns, and more.

"And in cases where inclement weather or traffic may impact a driver's ability to complete a customer delivery on time, Amazon works closely with delivery service providers to make adjustments to their delivery route and, if necessary, DSPs call drivers to return to the station."

Earlier this year it was revealed warehouse workers in the UK faced similar pressures and conditions.

One ex-worker said staff fear getting into trouble for taking too long away from the job.

The warehouse measures 700,000 sq ft and some of the 1,200 workers face a ten minute, quarter-of-a-mile walk to two toilets on the ground floor of the four-storey building.

Undercover investigator James Bloodworth said: “For those of us who worked on the top floor, the closest toilets were down four flights of stairs.”

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Mr Bloodworth, who worked ten-hour shifts as a picker selecting goods for despatch, walked ten miles a day in the job to research for a book on low-wage Britain.

It meant workers operated a “toilet bottle” system.

Mr Bloodworth said: “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.”

The Sun Online has approached Amazon for comment.

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