Amazon Pays $1.9 Million to Over 700 Migrant Workers to Settle Human Rights Abuse Claims

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 24, 2024 01:07 AM EST

Amazon said Friday that it had paid around $1.9 million to over 700 migrant workers in Saudi Arabia who claimed they had suffered human rights abuses as a result of exploitative labor contracts. 

(Photo : INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
A photo taken on August 8, 2023 shows the logo of US multinational technology and logistics company Amazon at their distribution centre in Dortmund, western Germany.

Amazon Addressing Alleged Human Rights Abuses in Saudi Arabia

According to CNBC, the settlement follows an extensive investigation conducted by a third-party labor rights expert, Verité, hired by Amazon last year to probe conditions at two warehouses in Saudi Arabia. 

Verité's findings revealed multiple practices deemed to be violating Amazon's supply chain standards. Last October, reports from Amnesty International and The Guardian shed light on the harsh working conditions endured by contract migrant workers at Amazon facilities in Saudi Arabia.

The Amnesty report said many of these workers were Nepalese. In response to these allegations, Amazon reaffirmed its commitment to upholding human rights standards across its global operations.

In its blog post, the e-commerce giant disclosed that Verité's probe found Abdullah Fahad Al-Mutairi Co. (AFMCO), a third-party vendor in Saudi Arabia, violating Amazon's supply chain standards.

These reported violations include worker-paid recruitment fees, substandard living conditions, contract and wage irregularities, and delays in resolving worker complaints.

Subsequent audits confirmed that AFMCO had addressed these concerns, including improving workers' housing conditions, upgrading fire safety systems, and establishing mechanisms for anonymous grievance reporting.

Amazon said AFMCO also committed to paying the workers in line with their contracts and will not move them to an accommodation that fails to meet Amazon's standards after their employment ends.

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Amazon Paid $1.9 Million to Settle Claims 

To expedite the reimbursement process, Amazon said it has collaborated with Impactt Ltd., a third-party human rights expert, to engage directly with workers and establish a dedicated helpline for addressing workers' concerns during the reimbursement process.

As a result of these efforts, Amazon disbursed $1.9 million to pay more than 700 contracted workers in Saudi Arabia harmed by labor abuses. 

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