Firm ‘terminates’ 50 employees, now claims letters ‘revoked’

Such action during epidemic a gross violation of law: AICCTU

April 08, 2020 12:34 am | Updated 12:34 am IST - New Delhi

The All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) has sought the intervention of the Delhi government over the alleged termination of 50 employees by Capital Trust Ltd. in Sultanpur during the lockdown.

Stating that the alleged terminations during the COVID-19 pandemic were in “gross violation of law”, the AICCTU said: “It violates labour laws and deals a blow to employees during the virus outbreak.”

Employees who were laid off claimed that the contracts of both permanent and contractual staff were “terminated illegally”.

Devendra Singh, one of the employees, told The Hindu , “Initially, when the lockdown started, we were asked to work from home, which all of us agreed to and were doing.”

Suddenly on Sunday, many employees got mails from the company stating that their “services were no longer required” and a probation clause was referred to.

“But the people who are not under probation have also received similar mails and no explanation is being given,” Mr. Singh claimed. “The salaries of all staff was released on Tuesday but the ones who got the termination letter did not get salaries. We are at a loss. We stay on rent and now the landlords are asking for money. How do we pay them?”

Company version

When The Hindu reached out to Capital Trust by email on Tuesday, Vinod Raina, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the company, responded on email, saying: “Further to your mail, we would like to submit the following. As a business practice under routine performance reviews HR department issued a letter to some employees of the company. However, under the present circumstances, the company subsequently revoked all such letters. Salary has been already been processed in all such cases.”

AICCTU secretary Surya Prakash said, “I tried contacting the nodal officer in the Labour Department but I was told to lodge a complaint on the helpline number. Every officer I am calling is asking me to contact someone else. We have not been able to find any solution yet. Employees of other firms have also started contacting us with similar complaints of retrenchment.”

In a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the council stated: “The governments have asked employers to refrain from terminating services of staff. Any employer who resorts to such retrenchments is contributing to the already chaotic situation... we request you [the CM] to take necessary action and order th firm to reinstate all employees.”

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