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NITES writes to Labour Minister over Amazon layoffs, alleges violation of labour laws

The employees' body has alleged that Amazon employees are being forced to quit voluntarily, and sought an inquiry into the matter.

November 19, 2022 / 03:17 PM IST
Amazon  (Image: AP)

Amazon (Image: AP)

Employees at Amazon in India are being forced to quit the company, alleged employee union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) in a letter to Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav. NITES has sought an inquiry into the matter.

The letter states that said employees have been sent details of a Voluntary Separation Program, and the livelihood of employees and their families is at stake. As per the letter, written by NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja, the company has given a deadline to the employees until November 30 complete this process.

“A lay-off is a condition where the employers are constrained to deny work to their workforce owing to conditions that bring forth temporary inability to keep their business going which is clearly not scenario in Amazon's case (sic),” the letter reads.

It adds that as per the Industrial Dispute Act, the employer cannot lay off an employee without prior permission from the government, and a copy of the application has to be given to the concerned workmen as well. Additionally, it states 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.

The letter adds that Amazon has violated labour laws in the country.

Reports stated that up to 10,000 jobs are likely to be eliminated in this round of layoffs at Amazon. According to Reuters, this would be a 3 percent reduction of Amazon’s workforce.

An email sent by Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy to employees said that layoffs will continue into 2023, according to a Reuters report.

“Yesterday, we communicated the difficult decision to eliminate a number of positions across our Devices and Books businesses, and also announced a voluntary reduction offer for some employees in our People, Experience, and Technology (PXT) organization,” his note read.

It added that Amazon hasn’t concluded exactly how many other roles will be impacted, but employees will be informed first.

A source in the know said that among Amazon’s multiple entities in India, there is likely to be a lot of reorganisation as well. Employees in India will receive more clarity on the layoffs in the coming week.

Amazon’s layoffs came after other Big Tech companies such as Twitter and Meta also announced significant headcount reductions. While Twitter laid off 50 percent of its workforce after Elon Musk acquired the company with more terminations since, Meta laid off 13 percent — or 11,000 people — from its workforce.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Nov 19, 2022 03:17 pm