Employees of Future Retail urge SC to clear asset sale in Amazon dispute

Reuters | | | Updated on: Nov 23, 2021
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Say deal failure will lead to 27,000 employees losing their jobs

Employees of Future Retail have asked the Supreme Court to allow the company to sell its retail assets and rule against Inc in an ongoing dispute, citing risks to 27,000 jobs, according to a legal filing seen by Reuters.

Future has failed to close its $3.4 billion deal to sell its retail assets to market leader Reliance Industries due to successful legal challenges by Amazon, which argues that Future violated some pre-existing contracts the two sides had struck, by deciding to sell its retail assets to Reliance.

Also read: Delhi High Court asks CCI to dispose of Amazon-Future Coupons deal matter

As the Supreme Court hears the dispute, a group of Future Retail (FRL) employees has filed a petition urging the court to rule against Amazon, saying their livelihoods were at stake.

If the deal fails, Future “will be pushed into liquidation, resulting in its 27,000 employees losing their livelihoods. The families of employees will be on the streets,” the FRL Employee Welfare Association said in a November 20 filing, seen by Reuters. The filing has not previously been reported and is not public.

Future, which denies any wrongdoing, has said it would face liquidation if the Reliance deal doesn't go through, while Amazon has repeatedly argued that its 2019 investment into a Future unit prohibits the Future-Reliance deal. The employee's filing will likely be heard on December 8, when the Supreme Court is next due to take up the matter.

The employee association also cited salary cuts in the range of 40-50 per cent between April and July last year due to distress at Future, the country's second-largest retailer, whose businesses were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Published on November 23, 2021

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