Layoffs announced by online food-ordering startup TinyOwl to contain losses led to chaos at its office in Pune, with one of its co-founders - Gaurav Choudhary - "being held hostage" for more than one and half days.
The Mumbai-based firm on Wednesday laid off another 112 employees in just three months after cutting 160 jobs in September.
"We found a group of former employees gathered around in a cluster, discussing developments angrily, while some were taking printouts, and others were writing on the whiteboard. They remained unaffected by members of the police force walking in and out of cabins. Choudhary was nowhere to be seen," said a report by MediaNama.
In the latest round of layoffs, the company closed its operations in Pune and the employees were told to contact its Mumbai office for final settlements.
"They say the F&F (Full and Final settlement) will be sent within 45 days, but how do we trust them when they haven't paid old employees?" said an employee.
"We have a mail from the HR saying that F&Fs won't always get settled within 45 days," the employee added.
The admin department at the office is reported to have taken back all the laptops and SIM cards of the employees, leaving behind some desktops, bean bags and chairs.
"We were promised appraisals; we were sent an email saying "Future directions of TO". We have a 100 such mails but nothing to show for it in real life," a female employee said.
Choudhary, who came out of his cabin escorted by the police, looked as if he was about to cry.
"Gaurav (Choudhary) doesn't know anything about this office, he doesn't know the number of employees here, how many people have resigned. The CEO hasn't even seen this office and is being completely irrational," said one of the employees.
Choudhary said that the company has sent one co-founder to each city to handle the layoff process "in a more "human" way."
The report said local members of political parties were also present at the premises demanding the payment of salaries due to the employees.
"Choudhary complained saying he's been kidnapped. Where's the kidnapping in this?" a politician asked the police squad.