82% of UK Amazon delivery drivers forced to drive dangerously to hit targets

Over 80 per cent of Amazon delivery drivers say they are being forced to drive dangerously to hit unmanageable delivery targets.

A recent poll of 700 UK Amazon delivery drivers conducted by campaign group Organise, 82 per cent said they are forced to break the speed limit in order to meet targets and avoid being reprimanded.

A further 92 per cent said they never take a break while working, while 86 per cent said they did not have time to wash their hands between deliveries.

One driver told Organise: “We just don’t stop during the day. Drivers are exhausted but we have to go on. Imagine driving a van 10 hours a day, without eating or drinking and hopping in and out continuously.”

Over nine in 10 drivers also said they had been forced to urinate into a bottle during shifts as they have no access to a toilet and can’t afford to stop.

In the US, Amazon has begun asking its drivers if they are “able to find restrooms” while working after it was forced to apologise for denying that many are forced to urinate in bottles.

According to a report from Business Insider, Amazon has begun polling its drivers on whether they are able to access public restrooms at any time during their shift.

READ MORE: Amazon faces PR nightmare as leaked email suggests it knew about drivers being forced to urinate in bottles

Despite informing Amazon that they were unable to use bathrooms during their shifts, the drivers complained that the multiple-choice questionnaire did not allow them to state it was because they didn’t have enough time, which they said “was the main problem”.

In March, the official Amazon News Twitter account responded to reports circling in the media that its ‘delivery associates’ were being forced to urinate in bottles while working over fear of wasting too much time and risking penalties.

Responding to Wisconsin congressman Mark Pocan, Amazon said: “You don’t really believe the peeing in bottles thing, do you? If that were true, nobody would work for us.”

The response was quoted around 9000 times within the next 12 hours, but Amazon fell further into a PR backlash after leaked documents emerged suggesting that not only were the allegations true, but Amazon had been aware since May 2020.

Organise has shared the results of the survey with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, while Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney has called on him to challenge Amazon directly and consider new rights for gig economy workers.

An Amazon spokesperson said: “We do not recognise these figures which do not reflect the positive feedback we receive from drivers every day. We’re hugely proud of the Amazon delivery service partner drivers who do such great work across the country, getting customers what they want, when they want, wherever they are. We are committed to ensuring drivers are fairly compensated and treated with respect.”

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