New challenges keep popping up by the day for Amazon India, now with its delivery workers threatening to go on strike across multiple cities in the coming days.
The 24-hour planned strike will take place at several Amazon warehouses in cities across Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Pune. Trade unions Indian Federation of App-based Transport workers (IFAT) and Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union said that the strike could lead to parcels piling up in Amazon warehouses in these cities.
The workers are demanding an increase in commission rates, insurance claim, and not making the know-your-customer (KYC) process compulsory for its customers, according to a report by Gadgets360.
According to IFAT, Amazon issued a new policy update on March 15, 2021 saying that delivery staff would earn INR 10 on delivering small packages and INR 15 for deliveries made through tempos. The staff was earlier getting INR 35 on each order, the trade union said.
IFAT said in a press note released on Wednesday that delivery staff of Amazon were making around INR 20,000 a month before the national lockdown last year, but that earning has now dropped to INR 10,000 following updated payment structures.
Around 10,000–20,000 delivery persons are expected to participate in the strike that could come into place later this month, IFAT National General Secretary Shaik Salauddin was quoted as saying. He said that it’s the first strike to affect Amazon’s entire logistics operations in the country.
The plans for the strike comes just days after hundreds of Amazon’s delivery persons walked out in Delhi and Pune. While 1,500–2,000 delivery persons went on strike in Pune, 1,000–1,500 took an identical step in Delhi, Salauddin said.
A record number of gig workers have been coming out to protest against the policies by tech companies and startups since 2020. As employment opportunities dried up post pandemic, many gig workers have been forced to work for aggregators despite wanting to cut ties.
Demands Raised By Amazon’s Delivery Workers
The delivery staff is demanding Amazon to pay for parcels delivered through vans at a fixed charge of INR 35 per parcel, while small parcels should be charged at INR 20 per parcel. They also wanted the company to fix the charges they get from the ‘I have space’ pick-up points at INR 25 per parcel.
A person familiar with the development was quoted in the report saying that the ecommerce platform took negative action against some of its delivery staff participating in the previous walkouts.
To put collective pressure on Amazon, its delivery staff in major cities is planning to go on an initial strike simultaneously for 24 hours but it could be extended further.
Salauddin said that they have also demanded to fix the payment of INR 20 per parcel for two-wheeler delivery staff and INR 70–80 for persons using vans. The participating unions also wanted the company to pay INR 480 to delivery staff for enrolling 20–25 wallets and should not insist them to process KYC for Amazon Pay customers.
“There are no disruptions in any of our delivery operations, and our partners continue to work with us to deliver on time to Amazon customers across the country,” an Amazon spokesperson was quoted as saying. “We place enormous value in having regular conversations with our partners, listening to their feedback and addressing them effectively to continuously improve their experience.”
The spokesperson added that all associates across the Amazon-owned delivery network, Delivery Service Partner network, and Amazon Flex programme were covered under different insurance programmes. Additionally, KYC is completely optional and associates can choose to earn more with this incentive, the spokesperson said.