Amazon India summoned by Labour Ministry over unethical layoffs

A complaint was filed by Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES)

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The Union Labour Ministry has reportedly sent a notice to Amazon India seeking an explanation with regard to the retrenchment of employees without serving them a notice.

Amazon India had rolled out a voluntary separation programme (VSP) last week, aimed at reducing its team size.

What did the Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) find unethical?

Well, as per the VSP, the employees of Amazon India have been given a deadline of 30 November 2022, by which they have to either quit on their own and avail the benefits of the separation scheme or be prepared to be laid off without any benefits.

Calling this VSP illegal and unethical, NITES had acted on the complaints received from the employees and requested the Centre and the labour relations authorities to intervene and resolve the matter.

Following the call for help by NITES, the Labour Ministry has now reportedly summoned the online retailer.

Given the fact that Amazon has a workforce strength of about 100,000 workers in India, hundreds of people will be deprived of a livelihood if they lose their jobs.

The Senate points out that the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 forbids any employer from laying off employees without seeking prior permission from the appropriate government first. Also, an employee who has been with a company for a minimum of three years continuously, cannot be fired unless three months’ advance notice is given. The employer or organisation is obligated to provide reasons for a layoff and apply to the authorities for permission to do the same.

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