Amazon denies terminating workers in India; the next Labor Ministry hearing is in two to three weeks

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Sources have confirmed that e-commerce and technology giant Amazon has informed the Labour Ministry that all resignations made in accordance with the Voluntary Separation Policy are voluntary and that no employees are being subjected to excessive pressure.

The Voluntary Separation Program plan that Amazon had distributed to its Indian employees had become the subject of a summons from the Indian Labor Ministry.

The company’s representatives were present for the hearing, but the organisation that represents the employees, NITES, was unable to attend and asked for a postponement.

A highly placed source has informed that the Ministry would have another meeting in two to three weeks. Amazon has also been contacted for comments on the matter. When the business responds, the copy will be revised.

Amazon recently disclosed that it would eliminate 10,000 positions worldwide. Soon after, the business began emailing some of its Indian employees information about the Voluntary Separation Program.

Indian employees were encouraged to voluntarily leave their jobs under the Voluntary Separation Program plan that was distributed to them in exchange for a number of financial rewards.

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 in exchange for the VSP benefits described below.”

The Labour Ministry of India did not like the development, and in response to a complaint put out by employee representatives, the company was called in for a hearing.

The Labour Ministry’s deputy chief commissioner, A Anjanappa, had earlier in the week called Smitha Sharma, Amazon’s senior public policy manager, and other employee representatives to a hearing.

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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