Forced to stand for 10 hours: Amazon India workers allege inhumane labour practices | Company News

Workplace exploitation: In a study by UNI Global Union, 1,838 Amazon workers reported harsh working conditions at their facilities in India

Amazon warehouse
Some 46.4 percent of warehouse workers said their salaries were not enough to cover basic needs. (Photo: Bloomberg/file)

Nisha Anand New Delhi

Amazon is in the news again for exploitative working conditions, with warehouse and delivery workers in India alleging inhumane corporate practices at its facilities, including not having enough time for bathroom breaks and no financial assistance for work-related injuries.

As many as 1,838 participants alleged poor working conditions at Amazon facilities in India, in a study conducted by UNI Global Union in partnership with Amazon India Workers Association (AIWA). The study was released on Wednesday, prompting the e-commerce company to deny the claims.

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In the study, four out of five warehouse workers said their career goals were “very difficult” to achieve. Of all participants, 21.3 percent of delivery workers and managers said Amazon’s policies made working conditions “unsafe” for them.

Toilet breaks are not enough

In a shocking finding, 86.3 percent of warehouse workers and 28 percent of drivers said the bathroom breaks Amazon provides them are inadequate. They also demanded that Amazon lower its targets so they can take proper food breaks. According to workers, Amazon uses mechanisms such as “identity block lists” to single out workers who do not meet their targets.

“You are penalized for being late if you spend more than 10 minutes in the toilet,” one employee said.

Employees say there is a lot of work pressure at Amazon India

“My feet hurt a lot after standing for 10 hours at work,” a former warehouse worker told UNI Global Group. Another current employee said the pressure at work was so intense that staff didn’t even have a chance to talk to each other.

One in five delivery partners surveyed by researchers said they had been injured at work. “I had an accident and no one helped me. I spent all my money,” said one delivery worker.

“Wages at Amazon India are not enough to meet basic needs”

Workers also complained about issues such as the inability to take vacations, lack of respect in the workplace and low wages that were barely enough to cover living costs and basic needs.

Some 46.4% of warehouse workers said their salaries were not enough to cover basic needs, while 52.9% said they were enough to cover only basic needs. For delivery staff, the figures were 37.2% and 60.1%, respectively.

Owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, Amazon has long come under intense scrutiny for its treatment of workers, with critics accusing the e-commerce giant of unfairly paying workers and actively working to prevent unionization.

Ministry of Labour presents report on Amazon India

It is worth noting that last week, the Ministry of Labour submitted a detailed report to the Haryana government on alleged labour law violations at Amazon factories and informed that action has already been taken in the matter.

This comes after the US retail giant admitted to health and safety violations at its Manesar warehouse in Haryana in May.