Amazon denies firing employees in India; next Labour Ministry hearing in 2-3 weeks

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E-commerce and tech giant Amazon has told the labor ministry that the resignations under the voluntary separation policy are voluntary and no undue pressure is being put on the employees, Business Today has learned from sources.

India’s Ministry of Labor summoned Amazon for a hearing about the company’s Voluntary Separation Program plan sent to Indian employees.

The hearing was attended by representatives of the company but the NITES Employees Union, which represents the employees, could not attend the meeting and requested for an adjournment.

A highly placed source told Business Today that the ministry would convene the meeting again in two to three weeks’ time. Business Today has also reached out to Amazon for its comment. The copy will be updated when the company responds.

Read also: Amazon, Twitter, Meta layoffs: Will NRIs returning home find jobs in India? – Business Today

Amazon recently announced that it will reduce its workforce by 10,000 employees globally. Soon after, the company started sending plans regarding a voluntary separation program to some of its employees in India.

Under the Voluntary Separation Program scheme sent to the Indian employees, they were urged to voluntarily resign in exchange for some monetary benefits.

“This communication is to inform you that Amazon is implementing a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) that is temporarily available to eligible employees of Amazon’s AET organization,” the company said in an internal statement. Pursuant to the VSP Eligible employees will have the opportunity to voluntarily resign from employment in lieu of VSP benefits as described below.”

Read also: ‘No Jobs November’: Facebook, Amazon, Twitter firings lead to nearly 38,000 layoffs globally – BusinessToday

The development was not well received by India’s Ministry of Labour, and the company was called for a hearing in response to a complaint filed by employee representatives.

Earlier this week, A Anjanappa, deputy chief commissioner of the labor ministry, along with Smita Sharma, Amazon’s senior public policy manager, had called the employee representatives for a hearing.

“You are required to appear at this office in person or through an authorized representative on the above date and time along with all relevant records in this matter,” said the notice sent to Amazon from the Ministry of Labor.

Read also: Byju’s-owned WhiteHat Jr laid off employees without severance pay; Company’s claim rejected – BusinessToday

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