Over 80 employees of Everest Business Concepts Private Limited based in Gangtok with a parent company in Haridwar, Dehradun in Uttarakhand have cried foul against the company for 'forceful termination and refusal to give salaries'.
The employees held a press conference on Wednesday claiming, 'the company was illegal and not coming to terms with the agreement to pay them 3 months of salaries".
Addressing the media, one of the employees stated, "The company was functioning for two years till August 22, until it was raided by Sikkim Police on the pretext of running online gaming and gambling. Goods and belongings of the company were ceased but no arrests were made. The company was even given a license by the State Urban Development Department and the same was renewed on two occasions by the State Department".
On the job profile of the employees, one of them stated, "We knew the job profile as most of us were card dealers and online gaming conductors, but upon being raided we learned it was illegal. The same was not mentioned to us when we were hired, nor was it mentioned in our appointment contracts".
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The employees further mentioned that they were terminated in the company's WhatsApp group over any official document from August 22. "We were initially promised that the company would once again open on August 31, but that didn't happen. We were convinced that our salaries would be given but then they made an agreement within the company without consultation with us employees. They stated they would be issuing our salaries for two months, but when we placed our demand for 3 months salary as per company's rule or in one go for all three months, they refused to take our calls", said another employee.
Out of desperation some of the employees filed a general diary in the Sadar Police Station in Gangtok on September 14, but the same has also not meted any solution for the employees. "They have told that will give the payment on a salary basis. When there is no employee, how can you give on a salary basis. They are misleading, saying different things on different occasions. We didn't agree with the agreement. It should have been consulted with the employees but just made 3-4 pages agreement papers. We are not allowed to speak to a third party, nor file a complaint in Police or file a case in Court, we cannot process legal procedure, says the termination agreement", mentioned another employee.
Another employee highlighted how the terminated employees are being made to pay 24 per cent interest back to the company from the promised payment. They informed that the company on a monthly basis promised salary payment through cheque or bank account for other months, but we're largely paid in cash.
For the initial six months, the employees were hired on the basis of On The Job Training, where they were given 10,000 Rupees as salary. Following the six-month training, they were given appointment orders along with a salary of Rs. 15,000 with the contract stating that they could not leave the company for the next 2 years.
The employees further stated, "The company owners are in Delhi or somewhere outside saying they are unable to come. When a company doesn't exist why give us a salary, if it's salary basis we will continue to be an employee. Many were supposed to get promotions, hikes in salary, and Diwali bonuses in the coming months. If they want to run as per the company, we will also run as per the company. We will also keep an advocate and work out an agreement".
The employees also informed how employees were called individually and manipulated to come to terms with the agreement. Around 10 of them have signed the agreement, they said. "The company had told us old employees nothing can be done. They urged us to find another job or to go make an appeal to the government. Some are college graduates, some have families dependent on their salary, and some are still students. We were shown the dream of a future. There was no termination letter given, but we were terminated verbally, over a WhatsApp group".
The employees have demanded to give the salary within the next 10 days on one time ago as they have or if it is done in instalments, they demand monthly appraisals and festive bonuses to also be given. The last salary withdrawn by the employees was for the month of August. "We are hopeful that this address will give us justice or we will take the matter to court", said the employees.