Amazon Delivery Staff in India Plans for a Nationwide Strike

Amazon delivery staff in India is set to host a nationwide strike in the coming days to demand an increase in commission rates, insurance claim, and not making the know-your-customer (KYC) process compulsory for its customers, Gadgets 360 has learned. The 24-hour planned strike will take place at several Amazon warehouses in cities including 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 at Amazon warehouses in the cities to pile up.

Around 10,000–20,000 delivery persons will participate in the strike that could come into place later this month, IFAT National General Secretary Shaik Salauddin told Gadgets 360. 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.

However, the earlier strikes conducted by the delivery persons didn’t bring any updates to Amazon’s existing policies. A person familiar with the development told Gadgets 360 that the company did take negative action against some of its delivery staff participating in the 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. It could, however, be extended further if the company doesn’t take any corrective measures, a New Delhi-based delivery partner told Gadgets 360.

IFAT said in a press note released on Wednesday that delivery staff of Amazon were making around Rs. 20,000 a month before the national lockdown last year, but that earning dropped to Rs. 10,000.

According to IFAT, Amazon issued a new policy update on March 15 saying that delivery staff would earn Rs. 10 on delivering small packages and Rs. 15 for deliveries made through tempos. The staff was earlier getting Rs. 35 on each order, the trade union said.

The delivery staff is demanding Amazon to pay for parcels delivered through vans at a fixed charge of Rs. 35 per parcel, while small parcels should be charged at Rs. 20 per parcel. They also wanted the company to fix the charges they get from the ‘I have space’ pick-up points at Rs. 25 per parcel.

Salauddin said that Amazon is also demanded to fix the payment of Rs. 20 per parcel for two-wheeler delivery staff and Rs. 70–80 for persons using vans. The participating unions also wanted the company to pay Rs. 480 to delivery staff for enrolling 20–25 wallets and should not insist them to process KYC for Amazon Pay customers.

Delivery persons planning the strike believe that it could impact lakhs of Amazon customers in major cities across the country.

Gadgets 360 reached out to Amazon for a comment on the development, and the company said that it was listening to the feedback it got from its delivery staff.

“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 said in an emailed statement. “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.

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