Despite notices issued by the Maharashtra government that employers should refrain from laying off employees during the lockdown, US-based travel company, Fareportal, has gone ahead and fired 200 staff members at its Pune office recently. Following complaints received from these employees, the National Information Technology Employees Sena (NITES) approached the Labour Commissioner’s office, from where a notice has been issued to Fareportal, seeking clarifications.
The employees of the Pune office were reportedly given no warning of termination and their 45 days’salaries have also been held back, as their full and final settlement is in the process of being calculated. The Company’s workforce in India —at Pune and Gurgaon— which was about 2800 strong before March 2020, has been reduced to 2000 now. A 100 more are expected to lose their jobs soon. Fareportal has also sacked more than 600 employees in the US.
The Company had already cancelled the appraisals of the staff members, given the pandemic and ensuing lockdown. Even the CEO had taken just a dollar as pay amidst the crisis.
The terminations have primarily affected employees from the operations function. Even managers, team leaders and assistant managers were handed over termination letters that gave no reasons for the move.
A notice has been issued to the Fareportal management by the Labour Commissioner’s office demanding the reasons for the layoff and warning of serious repercussions.