No forced layoffs, Amazon India tells Labor Ministry


No forced layoffs, Amazon India tells Labor Ministry

Nov 25, 2022, 07:16 pm
2 min read

No forced layoffs, Amazon India tells Labor Ministry
Amazon denied allegations of wrong doing (Photo credit: Amazon India Blog)

Earlier this week, Amazon was summoned by India’s Labor Ministry to appear before the Deputy Labor Commissioner, Bengaluru after receiving a complaint about the company’s Voluntary Separation Program (VSP).

The e-commerce giant appeared before the labor commissioner and denied allegations of wrongdoing. It said that those employees who quit choosing the severance package did that of their own volition.

Why does this story matter?

  • Amazon’s Voluntary Severance Program is the talk of the town. The question is, is the company forcing employees out by offering them a chance to resign in return for benefits, or is it really a voluntary choice?
  • The e-commerce giant has already laid off employees. If the labor commissioner’s decision goes against it, it will be a problem for Amazon.

Employees acted at their discretion: Amazon

Amazon denied the allegations in the complaint that it forced employees to quit. It said that only those employees who chose VSP were let go.

It reiterated that no employee was asked to choose the program. Instead, they were advised to act at their own discretion.

The company also said that employees are provided an extended window in case they reconsider their decision.

NITES alleges that Amazon violated Industrial Disputes Act

Amazon appeared before the Deputy Labor Commissioner after the Pune-based Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) filed a complaint about Amazon staffers being removed forcefully.

In the complaint, it was alleged that Amazon sent out VSPs to employees asking them to quit. The union said that Amazon’s actions were in violation of the Industrial Disputes Act.

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Employees were offered benefits in exchange for resignation

Amazon sent out VSPs to Indian employees a few days after it was announced that the company plans to reduce its headcount.

In India, VSP is reportedly available to senior-level employees in the Amazonian Experience & Technology (AET) team. They were offered certain benefits including 22 weeks’ base pay and six months of medical insurance coverage in exchange for their resignation.

No representative of the union was present during hearing

Now that Amazon has appeared before the Deputy Labor Commissioner, it’s NITES’ turn to present what it thinks of Amazon’s reply.

According to The Economic Times, no representative of the union was present during the hearing. The authorities have decided to take a view after hearing the union.

It is unclear when the next hearing will take place.

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