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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 5 - 10  > Amazon allegedly uses temps in violation of law
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2020 February 5 - 10 [LABOR]

Amazon allegedly uses temps in violation of law

February 8, 2020

The Japanese subsidiary of the U.S.-based online retailer, Amazon, at its distribution centers uses temporary workers in violation of the law. This was exposed through inquiries by Akahata and Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Kurabayashi Akiko.

Amazon outsources various jobs at its warehouse fulfillment centers across Japan to PHYZ Operations Inc., WORLD INTEC CO., LTD., and other contracting companies. These companies carry out orders by using workers dispatched from staffing agencies.

However, current or former employees of these companies in response to an Akahata inquiry testified that in Amazon warehouses, all jobs are performed under Amazon employees’ command.

For instance, in the largest Amazon warehousing and shipping facility in Japan, the Amazon Odawara fulfillment center (Odawara City, Kanagawa Pref.), agency-dispatched workers are hired by Amazon contractors to do replenishing, storing, and product control jobs. Those who supervise and instruct these temporary workers are Amazon staff.

JCP lawmaker Kurabayashi pointed out that Amazon uses temporary workers in disguise and outsources warehouse jobs to contractors with the aim of cutting labor costs and evading employer responsibilities. She said that this labor practice is regarded as “disguised contract labor”, which violates the law on dispatch workers and is subject to penalties such as administrative disposition.

Furthermore, under Amazon’s ostensible outsourcing tactic, workers sent to Amazon contracting companies are in fact dispatched to Amazon. This is equivalent to the so-called “double dispatch of temporary workers” prohibited under the Employment Security Act. Offenders can be punished by imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to one million yen.

Amazon Japan and two major contractors have not responded to an Akahata inquiry on this matter.

JCP Kurabayashi pointed out that Amazon staff’s involvement is vital for smooth operations of Amazon warehousing and shipping facilities. She said that considering this fact, it is obvious that Amazon should directly employ the required number of workers. She demanded that Amazon stop its illegal use of temporary workers and, as one of world’s largest companies, fulfill its corporate social responsibilities.

Past related article:
> Workers exploited under Amazon’s glory (Part 4) [August 1, 2018]
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