Verizon accused of using muscle power to force resignations

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A criminal case has been registered against the Company following allegations by former employees that it had hired bouncers to threaten and force them into resigning.

Verizon Data Services India is in trouble. A group of its former employees has filed a complaint against the Company for forcing them to resign through physical intimidation and threats.

In December 2017, Verizon had fired about a 1000 employees from its Chennai and Hyderabad facilities.

A criminal case has been registered against the Company after the former employees alleged that the Company had hired bouncers to threaten them and force them to resign.

In the complaint filed with the Madhapur Police Station, Hyderabad, the employees say that on December 12, the Company gave them pre-printed resignation letters and its bouncers intimidated them to sign the same. When these employees refused to oblige, the bouncers stopped them from leaving the room. The employees were then called individually into the meeting room.

A case has been registered under Sections 506 (criminal intimidation) and 341(wrongful restraint) of the IPC.

The Company had stated at the time of layoff that it was consolidating its strategy such that it could ‘scale, compete and continue to be successful’. It had said that its IT, including Verizon Data Services India, is transforming into an engineering-centric, technology organisation, which entails rationalisation of roles, which impacts the headcount.

The Forum of IT Employees, a union of the IT-sector workers, had then alleged ‘forced resignations’ and urged the labour commissioner to intervene in the matter.

Verizon, however, has said that it is yet to receive any notification from the police and is ready to extend full cooperation to the authorities during investigation.

It has denied using any force, intimidation or bouncers, to threaten its employees as has been alleged.

The Company officials have revealed in media reports that the recent role rationalisation exercise was done with sensitivity, taking into account the financial, medical insurance and career transition needs of the impacted employees; and that all through the exercise, the Company upheld the dignity and respect of all involved.

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