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Amazon Summoned by Labour Ministry To Discuss Recent Layoffs

Deputy chief labour commissioner, A Anjanappa summoned the ecommerce major to explain its recent voluntary separation programme

Amazon Summoned by Labour Ministry To Discuss Recent Layoffs
POSTED ON November 23, 2022 9:27 PM

The Union Labour Ministry of India sent a notice to e-commerce giant Amazon over the recent layoffs in the country.

The Jeff Bezos-led company recently sent a voluntary separation programme (VSP) to its employees in India asking them to quit voluntarily to avail the benefit plan of the scheme. It added that those who did not opt for the programme would be laid off. 

“This communication is to inform you that Amazon is implementing a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) which is temporarily available to eligible employees within Amazon’s AET organization. Pursuant to the VSP eligible employees will have the opportunity to resign voluntarily from employment in exchange for the VSP benefits described below. Application Forms to participate in the VSP must be submitted via smart forms between November 16, 2022, and no later than 6:30 am India Standard Time on November 30, 2022 (Election Period),” the VSP document stated. 

The deputy chief labour commissioner, A Anjanappa summoned the company over this. Smitha Sharma, the company's public policy manager has been asked to attend a hearing. 

IT and ITes labour union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) has called the layoffs unethical and illegal.

According to a report by The Hindu, Harpreet Singh Saluja, president of NITES, said the law of the land is above Amazon’s policies. Citing instances from the Industrial Dispute Act of 1947, he argued that the company can not lay off any employee without the prior permission of the government. 

In an attempt to combat the global economic slowdown, big players like Meta and Twitter decided to lay off their employees. Meta announced cutting down employee bandwidth by 13 per cent. After the takeover of Elon Musk, Twitter also laid off approximately 7,500 employees. Google is also planning to reduce its employee strength by letting 10,000 low-performing employees go.

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