Amazon to pay $1.9 million to settle claims of human rights abuses of contract workers

Amazon will pay $1.9 million to more than 700 migrant workers to settle claims of human rights violations following exploitative labor contracts. The affected employees worked at the company’s two warehouses in Saudi Arabia.

Amazon said it had hired a third-party labor rights expert to investigate warehouse conditions. The organization found multiple violations of Amazon’s supply chain standards, including “substandard accommodations, contract and wage violations, and delays in resolving employee complaints.”

This is one It detailed the various alleged human rights abuses experienced by those contracted to work at Amazon facilities in the region since last October, noting that many of the affected workers were “highly likely to be victims of human trafficking.” The report also suggests that Amazon is aware of the high risk of labor abuses while operating in Saudi Arabia, but has yet to “take sufficient measures to prevent such abuses.”

Concurrent reports by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism detailed the conditions these workers allegedly suffered. Investigations have shown that workers have had to pay illegal recruitment fees of up to $2,040 to get hired. This has led migrant workers, mostly from Nepal, to take loans at high interest rates.

Investigators also said these workers lived in squalid conditions, with one worker living “in a cramped room with seven other men crammed into bunk beds infested with bed bugs.” The water was said to be salty and undrinkable. Amnesty International echoed these findings, saying the settlements were “deprived of even the most basic amenities”.

In its report, Amnesty claims that loans with exorbitant recruitment fees amount to “trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation as defined by international law and standards”.

Amazon said it had “addressed the most serious concerns” about the two Saudi warehouses, including improvements to housing. “Our goal is for all our suppliers to have management systems that ensure safe and healthy working conditions; This includes responsible hiring practices,” the company writes.

It’s worth noting that while that $1.9 million figure may seem high, it comes down to about $2,700 per employee. Made by Amazon generates more than $1.5 billion in revenue every day.

Amazon doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to labor. It’s permanent especially his The company is also anti-union, as many of those complaints include Amazon faces multiple federal investigations into its security practices, and it has been fined by federal security regulators.

However, the company continues to oppose efforts to violate workers’ rights. Amazon The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claims it is unconstitutional, joining Elon Musk’s SpaceX and grocery giant Trader Joe’s. The NLRB is an independent arm of the federal government that enforces US labor laws and has been in operation since 1935.

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