The union ministry of labour has summoned Amazon for discussion on latest layoffs by the e-commerce major in India. The notice was sent to Amazon India following a complaint filed by the employee union Nascent Information Technology Employee Senate (NITES), which alleged that the layoffs and the voluntary separation program by the company was unethical and illegal, and requested interference. The development comes at the heels of mass layoffs announced by the ecommerce giant last week. The company has 1,00,000 employees in India.
The letter by the labour ministry is regarding discussions on the voluntary special program, which the company sent to its employees last week.
Queries sent by Fortune India to Amazon India did not elicit any response at the time of publishing. The copy will be updated once the response is received.
NITES on November 19 sent a letter to union labour minister Bhupendra Yadav regarding the complaints it has received from Amazon employees on being forced to quit the company voluntarily. Last week, the ecommerce retailer sent the VSP to its L1 to L7 employees and has given November 30 to participate in the process of VSP. The VSP will include 22 weeks’ base pay, one-week base pay salary for every six months of service up to a maximum benefit of 20 weeks' paid severance and medical insurance coverage for six months, amongst others.
NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja in an interview said, “The law of the land is above Amazon policies. As per the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act 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 authorities will decide whether the layoff can be permitted or not after hearing both parties,” he added.
Saluja further said that the VSP program will impact as many as 1,000 Amazon employees in the country.
According to reports, the company is planning to trim 10,000 employees or 3% of its corporate workforce. This is touted to be the largest layoff in the e-commerce giant’s corporate history. In India, the e-commerce giant is planning to hand over pink slips to at least hundred employees across divisions.
Last week, Andy Jassy, the chief executive officer of the ecommerce giant said that the company will continue firings into the new year as the company goes through its annual review process to find out ways to cut costs.
Jassy said, “Leaders across the company are working with their teams and looking at their workforce levels, investments they want to make in the future, and prioritizing what matters most to customers and the long-term health of our businesses.”
“We haven't concluded yet exactly how many other roles will be impacted (we know that there will be reductions in our Stores and PXT organisations), but each leader will communicate to their respective teams when we have the details nailed down,” he added.
Moreover, the company has also announced a hiring freeze owing to dwindling macroeconomic trends. Over the past few months, several big technology organizations have opted for job cuts owing to a looming global recession and unprecedented global economic situations. According to the data tracked by Layoffs.fyi, a website that tracks layoffs, as many as 1,36,989 employees have been laid off this year so far, by 849 companies globally.