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Amazon India Receives Summons From Labour Ministry Over Layoff Announcement

Hundreds of employees are expected to be sacked by Amazon India. The Union Labour Ministry summoned the company in wake of a complaint filed by an employee union.

Amazon India Receives Summons From Labour Ministry Over Layoff Announcement
The e-commerce giant's decision to lay off employees may include hundreds in India.

NEARLY a week after e-commerce giant Amazon announced that it would cut 10,000 corporate jobs, the Ministry of Labour and Employment summoned its Indian subsidiary to appear before the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner. The development took place on Tuesday, November 22 while the summons was issued for Wednesday, November 23. 

Amazon India's layoffs are expected to affect hundreds of employees in the country, with a workforce of approximately 1,00,000. Most of the cuts globally are expected to happen in the retail division, including data scientists, software engineers, and corporate workers. 

A complaint was filed by the employee union Nascent Information Technology Employees Senate (NITES), in which it accused Amazon of violating labour laws. NITES claimed that Amazon staffers were removed forcefully from the company in a letter to Union Labor Minister Bhupender Yadav.

Pressing for inquiry, the union maintained that a Voluntary Separation Programme was sent to employees setting a deadline of November 30 to complete the process. As a result, NITES claimed that the livelihoods of many individuals are at stake.

The union law ministry’s notice read, “You (Amazon) are therefore requested to attend this office with all relevant records in the matter either personally or through an authorised representative on the aforesaid date and time without fail.”

Amazon enjoys a large chunk of the e-commerce industry in India, besides operating AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Amazon Prime Video.

Last week, on November 16 (local time), Amazon announced mass layoffs through a memo to workers. “After a deep set of reviews, we recently decided to consolidate some teams and programs. One of the consequences of these decisions is that some roles will no longer be required,” hardware chief Dave Limp wrote.

“It pains me to deliver this news as we know we will lose talented Amazonians from the Devices & Services org as a result,” he added.

Amazon is one of the many tech giants that have announced downsizing their workforce. Facebook parent company Meta, Google parent company Alphabet, Twitter and most recently HP have also announced layoffs.

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