Amazon gets Pune labour commissioner notice after complaint about layoffs

Pune’s Labour Commissioner Office has sent a notice to Amazon after a group alleged the ecommerce giant had illegally implemented a voluntary separation policy and layoffs. Amazon was asked to be present at the commissioner’s office on January 17.

The Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES) said in a complaint that according to the Industrial Dispute Act an employer cannot, without prior permission from the appropriate government, lay off an employee on the muster rolls of the establishment.

A worker who has served for at least a year of continuous service cannot be retrenched unless served a notice three months in advance and prior permission from the appropriate government, said NITES, which its website says works for the rights of IT sector employees. The said application has to be submitted by the employer along with the reasons for such retrenchment. The said application shall be taken into consideration and scrutinized through an inquiry.

“However Amazon has clearly violated the existing provisions of Indian labour laws, which aim at protecting the worker’s right. The voluntary separation policy implemented was never submitted to the Labour Ministry for review which is a violation of existing Labour laws,” said Harpreet Saluja, general secretary of NITES.

An email sent to Amazon on the notice did not get any response till the filing of this report.

Amazon recently announced that it would lay off 18 per cent of its workforce globally. This will impact 1 per cent of workforce in India, or about 1,000 people. Amazon has around 10,000 employees in India.

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