NHRC Seeks Report on Alleged Labour Law Violations at Amazon India’s Warehouse in Manesar

NHRC probes alleged labour law violations at Amazon India’s Manesar warehouse following distressing employee claims.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognisance of severe allegations of labour law violations at a multinational company’s warehouse in Haryana’s Manesar, widely reported to be Amazon India. The Commission’s action follows a detailed expose by the Indian Express, highlighting harsh working conditions faced by employees at the ecommerce giant’s facility.

According to the Indian Express report, workers at the Manesar warehouse alleged a range of exploitative practices. These include long working hours with inadequate compensation, demanding work quotas, and prohibitive restrictions on basic amenities like restroom breaks. One worker claimed they earn a mere INR 10,088 for ten-hour workdays over five days a week, significantly below sustainable wage standards.

A female worker further reported being required to stand for nine hours daily, with productivity targets of 60 small products or 40 medium-sized products per hour. Disturbingly, another worker alleged being coerced by a supervisor to forgo toilet and water breaks until the unloading of six trucks was completed.

Expressing grave concern over these allegations, the NHRC directed the labour secretary to furnish a comprehensive report within one week. The Commission emphasized that if the claims are substantiated, they would constitute serious violations of labour laws and guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Furthermore, the NHRC noted the criticism from Indian labour associations regarding alleged breaches of the Factories Act, 1948, at five warehouses in the Manesar vicinity. Despite inspectors’ authority to demand corrections, enforcement reportedly remains insufficient, raising additional regulatory concerns.

In response to the allegations, an Amazon spokesperson stated that the company was investigating the claims rigorously. They underscored Amazon’s commitment to upholding high standards of employee welfare and safety, disavowing any endorsement of practices outlined in the complaints.

This incident is not the first time Amazon has faced scrutiny over labour practices in India. Recently, amidst a severe heatwave, warehouse workers reportedly endured distressing conditions, prompting renewed calls for improved workplace standards. In prior years, protests by Amazon’s Indian warehouse staff on Black Friday highlighted grievances over working conditions and demanded better wages and treatment.

The unfolding situation underscores broader issues surrounding labour rights and corporate responsibility within India’s rapidly expanding ecommerce sector. As investigations proceed, stakeholders await clarity on the veracity of allegations and anticipate robust measures to address any identified breaches of regulatory frameworks.

The NHRC’s proactive intervention serves as a pivotal moment in ensuring accountability and safeguarding the rights of workers in the face of evolving industrial practices. The outcome of these developments will likely influence future policies and practices governing the treatment of employees across the ecommerce landscape.

Aryan Jakhar
Aryan Jakharhttps://www.aryanjakhar.com/
Aryan Jakhar, an Indian journalist, founded Business Headline and The Shining Media Group. Previously, he contributed to Indian media outlets including BusinessUpturn, Inc42, and the India Today Group.

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