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“Exploited and Unheard: Amazon Workers in Saudi Arabia Cries Out for Justice!

For decades, migrant workers from the Middle East have been exploited by companies in Saudi Arabia. Amazon workers in the kingdom are now saying they have been mistreated and are demanding to be sent home or be paid a livable wage, or they will “kill us.” The workers in question are employed by Amazon through labor supply and recruiting firms, which are responsible for hiring and managing the workers employed within the company. Unfortunately, those working with Amazon say they have been routinely exploited. They allege that they have faced long hours, salary deductions, and violations of their basic labor rights. Reports from organizations such as Human Rights Watch have documented not just the stories of Amazon workers, but many other immigrant workers in Saudi Arabia. These reports have highlighted issues such as the country’s sponsorship system, which ties workers to their employers and prevents them from seeking alternative means of employment. They have also highlighted the unequal power dynamic between workers and their employers, which can leave migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation or abuse. Kamal Kar, a Human Rights Watch investigator, said “migrant workers in Saudi Arabia have long faced abuse at the hands of labor supply and recruitment companies, as well as employers who benefit from exploitative work conditions.” He went on to explain further, saying that “often workers have nowhere else to turn and can find themselves in a distinct disadvantage when speaking up about rights violations.” Amazon has not commented specifically on the letters sent by its workers, but it did release a statement saying it was conducting an independent investigation into the claims. It has stated that it takes the issues of workers’ rights seriously and also requires all of its suppliers to comply with the country’s local labor laws. Currently, the fate of the workers who sent the letters remains unclear. However, their actions have brought attention to the injustices faced by many migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. While the country has pledged to make changes to protect workers’ rights, it has yet to make any concrete steps towards reform. Until then, these workers are left to suffer the consequences of the unequal power dynamic between themselves and their employers.