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Labour Ministry summons Amazon over alleged layoffs

Amazon India’s public policy manager has been summoned by the Labour Ministry following a complaint by the employee union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) alleging a violation of labour laws.

A copy of the notice, which Moneycontrol has seen, has been signed by the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner in Bengaluru and summons the Amazon India representative for a discussion on Wednesday, November 23.

“You are therefore 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,” the notice reads.

A letter sent by NITES to Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav alleged that Amazon employees are being forced to quit the company, and sought an inquiry.

The letter stated that said employees have been sent details of a Voluntary Separation Program with a deadline to the employees until November 30 complete this process, and the livelihood of employees and their families is at stake.

NITES cited the Industrial Disputes Act and said an employer cannot lay off an employee without prior permission from the government. A copy of the application has to be given to the concerned workmen as well, the letter said. Additionally, the letter states that a worker who has worked for at least a year continuously cannot be retrenched unless they are also served a notice three months in advance.

In a statement, NITES President Harpreet Saluja said, “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.”

Moneycontrol has reached out to Amazon for comment, and this story will be updated if the company responds.

Reports stated that up to 10,000 jobs are likely to be eliminated in this round of layoffs at Amazon, and the layoffs will continue into 2023. Moneycontrol

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