E-commerce and tech giant Amazon has told the Labour Ministry that the resignations under the Voluntary Separation Policy are voluntary and no undue pressure is being put on employees, Business Today has learnt from sources.
The Labour Ministry of India had summoned Amazon for a hearing regarding the company’s Voluntary Separation Program plan sent out to Indian employees.
The hearing was attended by the company’s representatives but the NITES employee association, which represents the employees, could not attend the meeting and requested a postponement.
A highly-placed source informed Business Today that the Ministry would reconvene the meeting in two to three weeks' time. Business Today has also reached out to Amazon for comments on the same. The copy will be updated when the company responds.
Amazon recently announced that it would reduce its workforce by 10,000 employees globally. Soon after, the company started sending plans about the Voluntary Separation Program to some of its employees in India.
Under the Voluntary Separation Program plan sent out to Indian employees, they were urged to resign voluntarily in lieu of certain monetary benefits.
The company said in an internal statement, “This communication is to inform you that Amazon is implementing a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) which is temporarily available to eligible employees within Amazon’s AET organization. Pursuant to the VSP eligible employees will have the opportunity to resign voluntarily from employment in exchange for the VSP benefits described below.”
The development was not received well by the Labour Ministry of India, and the company was summoned for a hearing in response to a complaint filed by employee representatives.
A Anjanappa, the deputy chief commissioner at the Labour Ministry, had summoned Amazon's senior public policy manager, Smitha Sharma, along with employee representatives for a hearing earlier in the week.
The notice sent to Amazon from the Labour Ministry read, “You are to attend this office with all relevant records in the matter either personally or through an authorized representative on the aforesaid date and time without fail.”
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