The employees of Future Retail Limited (FRL) have approached the Supreme Court to allow the company to sell its retail assets to Reliance and rule against Amazon in an ongoing dispute. They cited job risks which can affect 27,000 people employed by FRL.
The top court is likely to hear the employee association’s appeal on December 8. The employees have also cited a 40-50 per cent salary cuts suffered by them between April and July last year due to the distress at FRL as its businesses were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In case the deal between Future Retail and Reliance fails to materialise, the former “will be pushed into liquidation, resulting in its 27,000 employees losing their livelihoods. The families of employees will be on the streets,” the FRL Employee Welfare Association said in a recent filing.
Future has failed to close the $3.4 billion deal to sell its retail assets to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail due to legal curveballs thrown by Amazon, which argues that Future violated pre-existing contracts by deciding to sell its retail assets to Reliance.
Amazon and Future Group have been battling it out in courts since the Kishore Biyani-led company agreed to sell its assets to Reliance Retail in August 2020. Amazon has been objecting to the sell-off plans and has also accused the Future Group of breaching the 2019 pact.
Meanwhile, independent directors at Future Retail have written another letter to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) citing internal communications of Amazon to establish the latter’s contradictory statements before courts and anti-monopoly body and sought revocation of the approval to Amazon-Future Coupons deal. They accused Amazon of providing “completely opposite information” which was “contradictory” to Amazon’s own internal communications regarding its investments into FRL’s promoter company.
(With agency inputs)
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