The following is a write up by an employee of Cognizant, Coimbatore about their experience approaching labour department.
As per NDLF advice, one Cognizant employee in Coimbatore filed 2A complaint under IDA act of 1947 with the labour department two weeks before. The concerned Cognizant employee and Cognizant managers were called for Tripartite conciliation meeting on June 6th at Coimbatore Labor department.The meeting was presided over by Labour officer Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan.
The employee whose resignation was obtained by HR under false pretensions narrated his experience in the meeting. The management representatives took time till June 15th to reply to the complaint of forced resignation.
In addition, 5 employees had given complaint to the labour officer that they are being forced to resign from their jobs by the management
They submitted their grievance as below.
We felt the uncertainty before we received our rating for the year 2016-17. It was delayed for a month than usual. Normally cognizant release their rating on February 2nd week but this year it was released on March 9th. Major reason for this delay was the instruction that came from CxO level to revise the rating and MS Rating (4th bucket) to 10% of employees was mandated.
A seven year experienced employee got a comment on his appraisal discussion that he was awarded ES (2nd bucket) but due to mandated 10% MS rating his rating was downgraded.
Normally Cognizant put their MS rated peoples on Performance improvement plan (PIP) during in the April quarter (3 months). Then they are allowed to work for projects. PIP programme was abolished this year and whoever got MS rating (4 th bucket) was immediately released from the project and handed over to HR department.
HR Department started threatening the employees in terms of Experience Certificate, Blacklisting.. etc to force them for submitting resignation. The above mentioned employee with 7 years experience was affected by this practice and it was conveyed to labour officer.
Profile masking by which particular employee’s profile could not be added to projects inside cognizant was discussed.
A woman employee with 5 years experience joined cognizant in July 2016, that is 9 months earlier. She was MS rated and her job is uncertain now. She argued that it is unethical and labour officer agreed to it.
Overall tripartite meeting was satisfying to the employees, but we are yet to receive a concrete solution. Next meeting was scheduled on June 15th at the same venue.
We are looking forward for the best solution for the affected techies.
Later labour officer informed the employees in a separate meeting that he asked HR to look into their complaint and not to force resignation. HR had promised to convey this to the management. Complaints about fear of job loss are taken as general complaints, not under ID act. As under ID act the grievance should be filed under section 2K as a collective grievance through union.
On behalf of NDLF, conveyed to labour officer that as per labour secretary/labour commissioner guidance will file grievance under section 2K of ID act through union for appraisal issues, forced resignations, project allocation complaints etc.
In addition to the employees who had filed complaint, 5 more employees joined the meeting to show their solidarity. At the end of meetings, one more employee who was forced to resign got encourage to file grievance under section 2A of Industrial Disputes Act. The sense of solidarity and unity shown by Coimbatore friends is worth emulating by everyone.
Please remember the media publicity, social media exposure, legal complaints and demonstration etc in the past 2 months should be consolidated by organizing ourselves as union.
Otherwise once memories fade, media will move on and the same old story of individual insecurity and suffering will continue.
United we can fight for our rights.