The 52 employees are on the payroll of Innovsource Services Private Limited, and have been offering their services to AVIS for the past 18 months.

AVIS india
news Employment Saturday, July 04, 2020 - 16:44

Uncertainty looms over the fate of 52 drivers in Hyderabad working for a chauffeur rental services company as their employers have failed to provide salary for the past three months. The employees said that AVIS India, failed to credit any salary for the months of April, May and June, leaving them to fend for themselves amidst the pandemic. “Many of our drivers even thought of killing themselves, without money how can we survive?” lamented Syed Tahir, a chauffeur. 

The 52 employees are on the payroll of Innovsource Services Private Limited, and have been offering their services to AVIS for the past 18 months. 

Owing to the pandemic, as the tourism and transportation industry took a huge blow, the services of these drivers were no longer required. 

“The employers have disposed of us, and have taken no responsibility to sustain us,” Tahir said. 

According to Tareef, in the month of March when the lockdown was imposed, the management only paid around Rs 4,000. “They said that they will give the remaining salary soon, but they did not pay the salary for the months of April and June either,” Tahir said. 

Agitated with the irresponsibility of the management, the chauffeurs protested at their office in Hyderabad and held deliberations with the company representatives. However, it did not yield the desired results. 

“The company could at least provide us with Rs 5,000 advance salary for each month. Without any salary how can we feed our families?” another aggrieved employee says. 

The employees accuse AVIS India of violating the labour laws by denying them salaries.

“All the employers, be it in the industry or in the shops and commercial establishments, shall make payment of wages of their workers at their workplaces on the due date without any deduction for the period their establishments are under closure during the lockdown,” Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote in the March 29 order issued under Section 10 (2) (I) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

As both representations and deliberations failed to achieve a positive outcome, the chauffeurs filed a complaint with the Madhapur police on June 2. 

In their complaint, they wrote, “We have not been paid even minimum wage as indicated by the Labour Ministry. Each employee has at least four dependents and have been struggling to meet daily necessities. Most of the employees have taken personal loans for house rent, insurance policy etc, to meet ends and have not been able to pay back debt due to no source of income.” The case is still under investigation. 

Meanwhile, speaking to TNM, the manager of AVIS Hyderabad said, “Like most businesses, even we are affected [due to the pandemic]. We promised them that we will take them back once the crisis ends. But they keep insisting to pay salaries at once. What else can we say? Airlines and car rentals faced a direct blow due to COVID-19 and scores of people lost their jobs, the companies are also in a financial crisis.”

“It is the management which has to take the decision, I cannot comment further on it,” the AVIS representative said.