NITES calls Amazon India layoffs illegal

Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate says that the voluntary separation programme offered by Amazon India to its staff violates the Indian labour laws.

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About seven per cent of Amazon’s total global workforce of about 1.5 million, operates from India. With the tech giant reportedly set to cut about 10,000 jobs across divisions, hundreds of employees in India will also lose their jobs.

Meanwhile, the voluntary separation programme (VSP) rolled out by Amazon India has been termed illegal and unethical by the Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), the IT & ITes employees labour union. Many employees of Amazon India approached NITES stating that they are being forced to resign voluntarily.

Amazon India has set a deadline of 30 November 2022, for its employees to either quit on their own and avail the benefits of the scheme or be laid off without any benefits.

The interested employees have to submit their VSP forms by 30 November 2022.

Calling this VSP illegal and unethical, NITES has requested the Centre and the labour relations authorities to look into the matter.

The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 forbids any employer from laying off employees without seeking prior permission from the appropriate government first.

The employer or organisation is obligated to provide reasons for the layoff and apply to the authorities for permission to do the same.

Only after examining the reasons and listening to the employees and the employers can the layoffs be carried out, says a report in The Hindu.

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