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Amazon delivery workers to go on nationwide strike: IFAT

Amazon delivery workers are set to hold a nationwide strike in the coming days, the Indian Federation of App-based Transport workers (IFAT), the trade union body representing gig transport workers, announced through a press release on Wednesday. Shaik Salauddin, National General Secretary of IFAT, told MediaNama that the union is coordinating with different state chapters to finalize a date. The workers demand an increase in commission rates, insurance for everyone, and not making KYC compulsory.

The 24-hour planned strike will take place in several cities including Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, and Delhi. There are about 10,000 to 15,000 delivery persons working for Amazon in the cities, the release stated. The strike will be the first to affect Amazon logistics pan-India and could result in packages piling up in warehouses. This new strike comes on the heels of the strike Amazon workers held in Pune on March 19 protesting over the same issues.

Delivery commissions drastically reduced: IFAT

Salauddin said that on March 15, Amazon reduced the delivery commissions to Rs. 10 on small packages and Rs 15 for deliveries made through vans, a sharp decrease from the average of Rs. 35 delivery personnel used to earn earlier. This has reduced the monthly earning of workers from Rs. 20,000 before lockdown to Rs. 10,000 now. Despite each worker working for around 8 to 10 hours and delivering around 80 to 100 parcels during the day, many are forced to work overtime if any parcel is left, Shaik added.

IFAT demands Amazon to pay workers Rs. 20 per package for two-wheeler deliveries, Rs 70-80 per package for van deliveries, and Rs. 480 for every 20-25 wallets the delivery worker enrolls. Additionally, IFAT has demanded insurance coverage for all delivery workers and the removal of compulsory KYC for customers.

Amazon’s response, refused to comment on reduction in commissions

In response to an email sent by MediaNama, an Amazon spokesperson said: “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. We place enormous value in having regular conversations with our partners, listening to their feedback and addressing them effectively to continuously improve their experience.” Shaik Salauddin refuted this claim in a call with MediaNama stating that Amazon is not engaging in talks with the union, but the workers will continue to protest until all demands are met.

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The email also added that all delivery associates are covered under different insurance programs and that they are working to extend this to I Have Space (IHS) program partners as well. Additionally, Amazon states that KYC is completely optional and delivery agents can choose to earn more if they carry out one.

Amazon did not comment on the alleged reduction in delivery commissions.

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