Labour Ministry summons Amazon India over firing of employees
The Ministry of Labour and Employment on Wednesday summoned Amazon India in connection with the company's alleged forced firing of employees, IANS reported. Company top officials have been asked to appear before Bengaluru's deputy chief labor commissioner to explain their position. The notice comes following a petition filed by a Pune-based union working for the rights of employees of IT companies before the ministry.
Why does this story matter?
- Amid the post-pandemic layoff-spree, Amazon became the latest entrant in a list of companies.
- The company says the firing process was inevitable as it has been resorting to cost-cutting measures for a while.
- Layoffs are usually the last step taken when prior actions don't reap the desired rewards.
- The company hired aggressively during the pandemic which usually becomes unsustainable.
Summons followed petition by a union of IT employees—NITES
Last week, the Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), a Pune-based union of IT employees, submitted a petition before the Union Labour and Employment Ministry. Through the petition, it had requested the central government and the state labor authorities to conduct an inquiry regarding the "unethical and illegal layoffs" email being sent to employees by Amazon.
What does NITES argue?
According to the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, the employer cannot lay off any employee without prior consent from the government, the petition argued. NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja had said that Amazon employees with at least a year of continuous service cannot be put off unless they are given three months' notice and prior approval from the competent authorities.
Amazon had attributed job cuts to current macroeconomic environment
With around 10,000 'Amazonians' set to face the ax, Amazon has become the latest tech giant to bite the bullet. It joins others such as Twitter and Meta, which have also undergone mass layoffs. The company's spokesperson Kelly Nantel said that "some roles are no longer necessary" considering the current macroeconomic environment. Amazon has reported two consecutive losses this year.
Firing spree in tech companies
Prior to Amazon, Twitter, Meta, and other IT companies also fired staff. On November 9, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook's parent firm Meta Platforms, announced the company's decision to lay off more than 11,000 workers and cut its team size by around 13%. Later, Twitter laid off 50% of its workforce. Google and HP are now considering layoffs as well.