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Amazon India layoffs are illegal, IT labour union says

Byadmin

Nov 21, 2022


A worker sorts delivery packages in a van outside an Amazon facility in Ahmedabad, India

A worker sorts delivery packages in a van outside an Amazon facility in Ahmedabad, India
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Amazon India layoffs are unethical and illegal, according to IT&ITes employees labour union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES).

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“The law of the land is above Amazon policies,” Harpreet Singh Saluja, President, NITES said in a mail to  The Hindu

Also read |Amazon CEO says layoffs will extend into next year

Amazon has recently sent details of a voluntary separation programme (VSP) to its employees in India asking them to voluntarily quit the company if they want to avail the programme’s benefits. Employees not participating in it will be let gone out without any benefits if they are part of a workforce optimisation programme, Amazon said in an internal communication seen by  The Hindu.

The company has given its employees time till November 30 to submit the VSP programme forms. NITES has requested the Union Government and the state labour relations authorities to conduct an inquiry into the layoffs.

As per the provisions of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 the employer cannot, without prior permission from the appropriate government, lay-off any employee. The company needs to submit an application to the authorities along with the reasons for such layoffs. Then the appropriate government authority will decide whether the layoff can be permitted or not after hearing both the parties, Saluja said in the letter seen by  The Hindu.

A lay-off is a condition where the employers are constrained to deny work to their workforce owing to conditions that bring forth a temporary inability to keep their business going which is clearly not a scenario in Amazon’s case. It has clearly violated the existing provisions of Indian labour laws which aim at protecting the worker’s rights, the letter noted.