Are Employees Deadwood? – “Apologize Mr. Raj Mehta!”

The following letter, taking strong exception to the statement by Mr. Raj Mehta of Cognizant regarding employees, layoffs, terminations and job losses,  is sent by NDLF IT Employees Wing to

  1. Mr. Raj Mehta, President of Cognizant,
  2. Labour Commissioner and Joint Labour Commissioner
  3. Labour Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu
  4. Chief Justice of Madras High Court

(the memes are taken from NDLF IT Employees Wing facebook page)

Sub: Objecting to Terminations, Forced Resignations and Layoffs – Mr. Raj Mehta’s statement reg
Ref : Cognizant to trim top deck to make room for juniors

Mr. Raj Mehta

Mr. Raj Mehta

We are pleased to introduce ourselves as NDLF IT Employees Wing which is a genuine trade union registered under Trade Union Act 1926, representing the IT employees of both national and global organizations.

We are aware that M/S Congnizant Technology Solutions (CTS) have an annual turn of over US$ 14 billion with operating margin of US$ 2.4 billion and after tax profit of $1.5 billion (year 2017).

We understand that the workmen (employees) of CTS are not given an avenue to represent their grievances and get them resolved. The internal ombudsman system provided by the management does not effectively carry out this function.

In 2017, many companies including yours, resorted to forced resignations, terminations, threatening employees to resign, creating unfair working conditions and other unfair labour practices. Our union took up the matter and obtained an order from the Tamil Nadu government regarding this issue.

Based on that the Joint Commissioner of Labour, Chennai Mr. Ravishankar conducted a conciliation meeting at his office in 6th floor of Labour Welfare Board Building, D.M.S Compound, Chennai – 6 on 28-08-2017 at 11 am.

Our union participated in the meeting. Representatives from TCS, Wipro, Infosys, IBM and your company also attended the meeting. In the meeting, the JCL advised that the managements shall not threaten employees or dismiss employees, shall maintain smooth working conditions, and harmonious industrial relations. Every one who attended the meeting assured the authority that they will abide by the advice.

Contrary to that assurance given to the authority, in August this year, Mr. Raj Mehta, President of Cognizant Technology issued a statement that

We want to weed out the deadwood higher up in the pyramid so that juniors can grow”.

He also stated that “This one is really targeted towards the senior end of the pyramid. It is not voluntary, this is more involuntary. We are trying to cleanup the higher end of the pyramid and allow our associates to grow ”.

The number of senior employees targeted is 200 as per the company spokesperson as reported by Economic Times on August 3, 2018.

This statement of Mr. Raj Mehta is spread in media with the ill intention of making majority of employees to fear that hire and fire is legal. Human resource officers hold individual meetings with employees and force them to submit self-resignation. Some of the employees fall prey to the above mentioned management tactics and submit self-resignation with this deadwood statement in open media in mind.

More than 2,000 employees have been forced out of the company in this manner including many of your senior employees with the designation band of SD+ to SM levels to resign, despite these workers having rendered continuous service for long years. These layoffs/forced resignations/terminations are projected by your company as that of employees voluntarily leaving the company as if they want to throw away an annual salary around Rs 10 lakh and give up their standard of living.

Retrenchment of 200 employees is later confirmed by Economic Times vide report dated 11 Oct 2018. The actual number of employees sent out by this management tactics is many times the count of 200 projected to outside world. The data is said to be 20% attrition in quarter ended in June 2018. As per newspaper report on Oct 31, 2018, attrition is still higher at 22% in quarter ending September. The CFO quoted voluntary attrition and shortage of talent as reason for this attrition.

We already brought this issue to your attention vide letter dated October 15, 2018. However, you have not issued any clarification about your statement and the forced resignations/terminations/layoffs continue in Cognizant Technology Solutions

Mr. Raj Mehta made this statement with the ill intention that the sacked employees should not get a job any where in the world, as everyone knows that such statements from the President of a company carry weight with all future employers.

In reality, even as the company’s turnover and profits keep growing every quarter, employees are sacked from their jobs, their life is ruined, they are not able to pay their home loan EMI and forced to leave their homes, their children are thrown out of school for not paying fees, their families including elderly parents are left without medical care.

The workers engaged in your company work beyond the limit of nominal working hours without spending time with their family considering the organization and its profit. Instead of appreciating the efforts of the employees who made all these possible, Mr. Raj Mehta, the President of the organization made their efforts vain, degraded their value, morals and endangered their livelihood. The said statement is arbitrary, biased and unfair which is against the law of the land.

There is a statistics by Tamil magazine Vikatan that 8200 employees committed suicide in Tamil Nadu alone in last 6 years in IT industry. The primary reason for this issue is illegal termination and its subsequent effect of job loss panic and uncertainty created in job market. Tamil Nadu has been among the top two ranks in the list of states with highest suicide rates for six years now.

As per statistics of India as world suicide capital, suicide was the most common cause of death in both the age groups of 15–29 years and 15–39 years. Most IT employees fall under this age group. Irony is that the majority of 1.8 lakh employees in Cognizant fall under this age group and are vulnerable to the your manipulation tactics which can result in increased suicide rates if not acted upon on time.

Thus, the statement made by the organization head leads to endangering the livelihood of the employees. This will make a major impact in the economy of the country and there will be a grave situation for students who want to pursue their careers in IT Industry. Dreams of many students are shattered with the deadwood statement and layoff exercise by Cognizant.

The employees depend upon this organization, the organization had not valued their contribution. The act of organization has vicitmised not only these 200 employees but for whole organization and its future generation who dreamt to pursue this career. This act explicitly shows that own employees were harassed with ulterior motive to gain profit and the Management threatened its employees to terminate their services illegally at any time and without appreciating their hard work and performance.

Hence, our union demands that the management should

  1. All the terminated/forcefully made to resign employees should be taken back with continuity of service.
  2. They should be given compensation for the period of unlawful terminations
  3. Mr. Raj Mehta who is responsible for this dastardly act should withdraw his statement and apologize by issuing a statement to the media.

We expect you to act on this within 15 days of receipt of this letter and maintain normalcy inside the company and enable the employees to provide much higher productivity gain. Failing which we will take all legal measures and trade union steps (as per Trade Union Act 1926).

To Read More

Permanent link to this article: http://new-democrats.com/are-employees-deadwood-apologize-mr-raj-mehta/

13 comments

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    • Kasirajan on December 7, 2018 at 1:51 am
    • Reply

    As per statistics of India as world suicide capital, suicide was the most common cause of death in both the age groups of 15–29 years and 15–39 years. Most IT employees fall under this age group. Irony is that the majority of 1.8 lakh employees in Cognizant fall under this age group and are vulnerable to the your manipulation tactics which can result in increased suicide rates if not acted upon on time.

    Thus, the statement made by the organization head leads to endangering the livelihood of the employees. This will make a major impact in the economy of the country and there will be a grave situation for students who want to pursue their careers in IT Industry. Dreams of many students are shattered with the deadwood statement and layoff exercise by Cognizant.

    The employees depend upon this organization, the organization had not valued their contribution. The act of organization has vicitmised not only these 200 employees but for whole organization and its future generation who dreamt to pursue this career. This act explicitly shows that own employees were harassed with ulterior motive to gain profit and the Management threatened its employees to terminate their services illegally at any time and without appreciating their hard work and performance.

    Hence, our union demands that the management should

    All the terminated/forcefully made to resign employees should be taken back with continuity of service.
    They should be given compensation for the period of unlawful terminations
    Mr. Raj Mehta who is responsible for this dastardly act should withdraw his statement and apologize by issuing a statement to the media.
    We expect you to act on this within 15 days of receipt of this letter and maintain normalcy inside the company and enable the employees to provide much higher productivity gain. Failing which we will take all legal measures and trade union steps (as per Trade Union Act 1926).

    • Vasuki on December 7, 2018 at 8:51 pm
    • Reply

    As this meeting attended by NASSCOM
    Also,we can send a copy to them.

    • Another one on December 8, 2018 at 9:02 am
    • Reply

    The statement is essentially defamatory. All those who have been asked to leave should possibly claim defamation along with other damages.

    • Saravana on December 10, 2018 at 11:06 pm
    • Reply

    Labor ministry should pitch in on their own to condemn it

    • selvan on December 11, 2018 at 6:52 pm
    • Reply

    Dead weed says we are dead woods. Deadwood will burn anything that tries to scrach it. Lets show what deadwood does to CTS

    • Suge on December 11, 2018 at 10:55 pm
    • Reply

    //In reality, even as the company’s turnover and profits keep growing every quarter, employees are sacked from their jobs, their life is ruined, they are not able to pay their home loan EMI and forced to leave their homes, their children are thrown out of school for not paying fees, their families including elderly parents are left without medical care.//

    This is fact of most of all IT employees

    • Kasirajan on December 11, 2018 at 11:10 pm
    • Reply

    Modi is silent about layoffs.
    DMK admk aap dmdk pmk vck parties are silent about layoffs.

    What a world it is

    • Suge on December 11, 2018 at 11:33 pm
    • Reply

    //In reality, even as the company’s turnover and profits keep growing every quarter, employees are sacked from their jobs, their life is ruined, they are not able to pay their home loan EMI and forced to leave their homes, their children are thrown out of school for not paying fees, their families including elderly parents are left without medical care.//

    IT slaves life become more risk

    • Brahmin Leader on December 12, 2018 at 1:15 am
    • Reply

    Why Brahmin leader Lakshmi Narayanan silent about Layoffs in CTS as Cognizant’s Board of Directors ?

    He recently served as Chairman on NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies

    Is Brahmin community welcomes layoff or protests Layoff ?

    =================================================
    Narayanan has played a leading role in the global information technology industry for more than 25 years, managing divisions and business units in Europe, India and the United States. Since joining Cognizant Technologies in 1994, he has been instrumental in formulating the company’s strategy and building and managing the organization’s development centers in India, where he is based. A member of Cognizant’s Board of Directors, Narayanan spends time traveling extensively in the U.S. and Europe to meet clients.

    He recently served as Chairman on NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakshmi_Narayanan

    • anonymouus on December 12, 2018 at 1:17 am
    • Reply

    Why Brahmin leader Lakshmi Narayanan silent about Layoffs in CTS as Cognizant’s Board of Directors ?

    Is Brahmin community welcomes layoff or protests Layoff ?

    =================================================
    Narayanan has played a leading role in the global information technology industry for more than 25 years, managing divisions and business units in Europe, India and the United States. Since joining Cognizant Technologies in 1994, he has been instrumental in formulating the company’s strategy and building and managing the organization’s development centers in India, where he is based. A member of Cognizant’s Board of Directors, Narayanan spends time traveling extensively in the U.S. and Europe to meet clients.

    He recently served as Chairman on NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakshmi_Narayanan

    • Shyamsundar on December 12, 2018 at 3:40 am
    • Reply

    Company like Innautix or verizon terminated and they paid severance of 1 month salary of every year service of employee. In case of innautix, they paid some additional money also. I am not supporting layoff of innautix. But company like CTS not paying severance and also terminating employee calling them also as deadwood is really criminal.

    • DespicableYou on December 12, 2018 at 6:40 am
    • Reply

    Raj Mehta himself is a deadwood. Has anyone in the company ever seen him speaking on any forum? He writes shabby emails too. Ever since he is the President of the company, Cognizant is involved in all wrong doings.

    • Prakash on December 12, 2018 at 8:59 am
    • Reply

    This statement is clearly threatening message to all senior employees, almost a direct message to employees of IT that you all will become a Deadwood one day after serving for some years. Company like to project what they do is correct and also hire and fire is legally correct to public. Today’s IT employees initially projected like they good salary onsite etc and end up with stressful financial comitment like house EMI mainly. Company extract efforts of employees and calling Deadwood finally is inhuman abbusive. These kind of statement is irresponsible and spreading negativity to the society.

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