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Amazon summoned by Labour Ministry after employees union file complaint over layoffs

Amazon layoffs: The Labour Ministry summoned a representative of the e-commerce giant Amazon to Bengaluru on Wednesday in response to a complaint from the employee union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) regarding layoffs by it in India, the Business Standard reported.

“You are requested to attend this office with all relevant records in the matter either personally or through an authorized representative on the aforesaid date and time without fail,” said a letter from the Labour Ministry, addressed to Amazon’s senior manager for public policy Smitha Sharma.

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A Anjanappa, Bengaluru’s deputy chief labour commissioner, signed the letter, which was examined by Business Standard.

“We are highly thankful to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for the prompt action initiated to safeguard the interests of Amazon Employees,” said NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja. “We are looking forward to justice for employees. This is a sigh of relief for Amazon India employees for time being. We are hoping that the unethical Voluntarily Separation Policy introduced by Amazon will be scrapped by the Government authorities.”

Amazon employees have reportedly complained to NITES that they are being forced to leave the company ‘voluntarily,’ according to a letter sent to the Labour Ministry. It claimed that the business had also issued a thorough Voluntary Separation Program (VSP).

“Livelihood of (thousands) of employees and their families has now been made vulnerable,” said NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja in the letter. The letter was sent to Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav last week. “The company has also given a deadline to the employees till November 30th, 2022 to complete this process.”

According to the letter, a lay-off is a situation in which employers are obliged to deny labour to their staff due to circumstances that result in a temporary incapacity to keep their firm running, which is clearly not the case in Amazon’s instance.

A copy of the application must also be supplied to the affected workers, according to the Industrial Dispute Act, which prohibits employers from terminating employees without first obtaining approval from the government.

According to the letter, a worker who has worked for at least a year continuously cannot be laid off unless he has also been served with a three-month notice. Amazon allegedly broke national labour regulations, according to NITES.

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“Hence through this letter, we are seeking your prompt intervention and immediate inquiry to safeguard the welfare, rights and families of (thousands) of Amazon employees,” said the letter.

The present layoffs, according to Amazon, were a result of the yearly operations planning review procedure. The corporation did not, however, provide a breakdown of the employment that would be eliminated in India. The sources claim that efforts would be made to include as many as feasible into the various commercial divisions of the organisation. According to the sources, only those for whom it is impossible to find a good fit will be asked to go.

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