Udaan, a business-to-business start-up reportedly laid off over 3,500 of its contract workers across the country in the last three days, beginning April 23.

About 600 people have been laid off in Bengaluru alone, while more than 1,000 contract staff of the e-com firm lost their jobs in several small cities as well.

A copy of the termination letter, shared with The Hindu by a contract employee who was laid off, read: “Due to some unavoidable business challenges we are closing the contract with Udaan and therefore, today, April 24th will be your last working day. You will receive a month’s salary as compensation.”

“My official email account was terminated around midnight on April 23, without any prior notice. Next day by 11 a.m., I received the termination letter from my employer, Avsar Consultancy [a third-party company that worked with Udaan],” said Nagraj Gowda (name changed), who worked as a seller dispute executive, at Udaan. Strongly condemning the layoffs, the Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union (KITU) said, “We call Udaan’s action illegal and totally inhumane. The company has clearly violated the labour norms as they executed employment terminations of thousands of contract workers across the country, including over 600 people in Bengaluru, without any prior notice.”

The Labour Ministry had issued an advisory on March 20 asking all employers not to terminate workers, casual or contractual, during the lockdown. Sources said the pandemic had significantly affected Udaan’s revenue from items such as electronics and apparel, although its business includes essentials such as fresh food and pharma. It had raised $585 million last year for expansion.


News Source: The Hindu


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