Following exposé, Amazon to pay nearly 2 million to migrant warehouse workers in Saudi Arabia


Following exposé, Amazon to pay nearly 2 million to migrant warehouse workers in Saudi Arabia

Following months of intense scrutiny from the press, civil society and government officials, Amazon agreed today to pay US$1.9 million to reimburse more than 700 contracted warehouse workers in Saudi Arabia who were deceived by recruitment agents and labour supply companies. An Amnesty International report uncovered that the workers were cheated of their earnings, housed in appalling conditions and prevented from finding alternative employment or leaving the country.

The report, titled “Don’t Worry, It’s a Branch of Amazon,” showed a disturbing pattern of human rights abuses, including deceit by recruitment agents, wage theft, substandard living conditions, and restrictions on workers’ freedom to change employment or leave the country.

The investigation revealed that Amazon failed to detect or prevent the exploitation of these workers, despite receiving direct complaints about their mistreatment. The severity and nature of the abuses reported suggest that many workers experienced conditions tantamount to human trafficking, particularly due to the deceptive recruitment practices and subsequent exploitation.

“This payment is a testament to the relentless efforts of workers, activists and human rights organizations around the world who demand that Amazon be held responsible for this appalling treatment of workers. It shows that speaking out and demanding change can get results even at Amazon and even in Saudi Arabia,” said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. “Let this be a clear message to all multinational corporations that they too must uphold their responsibility to protect workers at every level of their operations.”

“Amazon is under pressure to establish more humane and ethical standards for all workers in its value chain worldwide, ensuring such abuses are never repeated. The international community, labour rights organizations and consumers alike will be watching closely.”

Representing more than 20 million workers in 150 countries, UNI Global Union is driven by the responsibility to ensure skills and service jobs are decent jobs and that workers’ rights are protected, including the right of union representation and collective bargaining.      




UNI Amazon Global Union Alliance