Mumbai: At a time when the Centre and state government have appealed to private and public establishments not to lay off their employees, 90 employees of a US-headquarted BPO firm has terminated the services of over 80 employees who were working at its Thane office.
The company has said that the decision was necessitated by the current situation in the US, and the hit its business has taken there.
The employees who have been sacked by First Credit Services are worried about how they will run their homes and meet other financial commitments at such a difficult time. The state Labour Commissioner has said that his office would look into the matter.
One of the employees, Smita Johnson, alleged, "They have only sent me one email about the termination. Later, when I called them, they did not receive my call, nor did they reply to my email. I was resting easy when, on 20th March, they informed us that our Jobs were secure."
"We were given an assurance that our job would be secure, but would not be paid for the time we would be at home. We agreed as the job was secure. After the 21 day lockdown was announced, the very next day we received an email stating that our services are being terminated.
We tried contacting the company by calling and sending emails to understand the reason, but no one was able to help us with a solid reason,” said Ivin Saji Samuel, who was working as a customer support associate for the company.
“It's not a matter of one or two, or even 10 employees. It's about over 80 employees and their families. Imagine our plight, especially during the coronavirus lockdown. Customer support associate.
When contacted, a spokesperson for the company released a statement that read, “The current business situation in the US is grim, there is no clarity on how things will be when they finally open after a few months.
Businesses need to sustain operations in these turbulent time with a reduce staff rather than let the whole ship sink within which case everyone is hurt. The recent US unemployment filings of 3.3 million last week which is the highest in US history is an evidence that businesses are fast adjusting to the new real world.
Economists expect the US economy to fall into recession and in context of the current and emerging scenario businesses have no option but to reduce staff and continue to be on a minimum survival mode till situation changes.”
“We as a company understand the human situation and have made sure our employees who are being let go get their salaries, statutory notice period and all amounts that they are due on or before time. In our case the company’s operation in India was supporting the fitness industry and it is a known fact that the entire fitness industry in the US is shut down and this is unlikely to start anytime soon.
In the current scenarios our decision is not guided by the India situation rather by the situation in the United States,” the statement added. State Labour Commissioner Mahendra Kalyankar said, “There is a procedure for terminating an employee.
We have already appealed to all the public and private companies not to terminate the services of employees in such crucial time, as this will hamper the morale of the employees and also weaken their financial condition.
We will investigate the matter and if it is a case of illegal termination, then even the employees can challenge it. If the termination is due to the lockdown, then action will be taken against them accordingly.”