amazon workers in saudi arabia faced exploitation; what’s reality
Amazon workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have faced intense exploitation by recruitment agents. Migrant workers came to Amazon facilities in Saudi Arabia with hopes but their dreams were shattered.
What happened to Amazon workers in Saudi Arabia? What’s the reality? Are workers safe? Did migrant workers leave the country after facing intense exploitation?
Amazon workers in Saudi Arabia
Amnesty International in its new report titled, Don’t worry, it’s a branch of Amazon, compiled records of exploitation faced by Amazon workers in Saudi Arabia. Amnesty International said that Amazon failed to protect its workers in Saudi Arabia.
In the report, Amnesty International highlighted that exploitation faced by migrant workers over a lengthy period of time amounted to human trafficking and human rights abuses.
Amazon workers faced exploitation
Around 22 men from Nepal came to Saudi Arabia to work at Amazon. They paid an average of US$1,500 to recruitment agencies to get the job. They also took loans to pay the fees, hoping that their life will be secured.
When migrant workers arrived in Saudi Arabia, they were sent to a crowded room. Their beds were infected, the water was undrinkable, and the food was not sufficient.
They were exploited by firms that supply labor to Amazon in Saudi Arabia. They complained that recruitment agents duped them.
The workers worked at Amazon warehouses in the Kingdom. However, their employer used to withhold part of their salaries without any explanation. They were also not given food allowances. They were stuck at one place that felt like a prison.
At the workplace, they lifted heavy items, worked hard to meet grueling performance targets, and worked constantly without taking rest. In some cases, migrant workers faced intense injuries and illness. One worker broke his arms. The recruitment agencies denied him sick pay and he had to resume work.
They did not get any protection from the government. They had to survive by eating bread and salt. Sometimes, workers had to survive at a temperature of 50°C without AC and fans.
When Amazon came to know about the atrocities faced by workers, the company agreed to help them.