Sathyaraj (name changed) is from a remote village in Erode district, Tamilnadu. He is a first generation degree holder and one of the very few graduates in his village. Sathyaraj parents are daily wage labourers who struggled hard to make Sathyaraj complete his degree.
After his undergraduate degree, Sathyaraj was selected for WASE academic course for Wipro Technologies. This is 4 years course which offers M.Tech degree. The people who are part of WASE group will be paid minimum stipend amount until they complete the degree. They work 5 days for Wipro and study on Saturday for the degree. So Wipro get cheap labour under a bond. But Sathyaraj got a chance to work in Wipro and build his life in the modern world. After working hard for 4-5 years, he can marry and settle down with a decent salary.
Sathyaraj completed his WASE within his stipulated period of time. He helped in his sister’s marriage with loans and from his salary. He also got married last year and his wife is 6 months pregnant now.
After successfully completing his WASE period, Sathyaraj joined Wipro as a permanent employee. But unfortunately he was targeted for layoffs. He was rated lower in the last appraisal cycle and given a rating of More Contribution Expected (MCE). He was given Performance Improvement Plan. After 3 months of PIP, he was told that his PIP performance is negative. He was targeted to submit self-resignation. To protect his job, Sathyaraj contacted different IT unions like NDLF and FITE. We explored all possibilities to save the job of Sathyaraj.
But unfortunately the company terminated Sathyaraj’s services effective yesterday (21st November). He was terminated for getting only a single MCE rating in his lifetime as part of his first appraisal cycle. He was given HVC rating for the previous years in the company. He got transferred from a different city to Chennai and stayed in the company guest house of Wipro. Letter was issued with a day’s time and he was forced to vacate the guest house.
This happened yesterday and now Sathyaraj is searching for his next job to run his family. He has taken a contingency loan of 50,000 from Wipro for his marriage and this loan has due of 36000. As part of final settlement, Wipro offered 2 months salary. He will be paid a maximum of another 24000 after deducting his contingency loan. The current situation of Sathyaraj is he can lead his life in Chennai searching for job with the help of this settlement money. The final word he told us is that he will search for a job till this money is over and will move back to his village after the money is over.
As part of union, we helped him in filing 2A petition against the company. The sad part is these legal disputes take a minimum of 2-3 years and many employees are not in a position to withstand this period fighting against the company.
There is an incident where Wipro is fined Rs 3,000 for not appearing in a case after several attempts. This incident happened in Pune where Wipro with intention of dragging the case of an employee and did not appear for several hearings. Hence, Wipro was fined for repeated Vaydhas. Here money of 3000 does not matter to Wipro. This clearly shows the intention of Wipro or for that matter any other company. They are trying to drag cases as much as possible to make employees struggle. They are doing this with money power and legal power they have.
With the above plan, they have started terminating senior employees as well as junior employees without any regard for the law of the land.
Now Sathyaraj’s pregnant wife is waiting for Sathyaraj to get his job and praying for his welfare. The decision of some managers and HRs by Wipro will create major impact in life of a kid which is going to born in next 3 month.
The sad part is reason for termination is quoted as offer letter clause. In one of the hearings of another employee, Labour Officer clearly said that the employer cannot terminate services of an employee based on offer letter clause. As none of the big IT companies have certified standing order, they should follow the terms of Model Standing Order, which does not allow such terminations.
Definitely the big companies very well know this but terminate services of employees taking a chance that people like Sathyaraj will not do anything against the company.
In all the town hall meetings Wipro managers spout the statement that Wipro donates 40% of its income to charity. Wipro chairman Azim Premji is awarded Padma Vibhushan for his services to the nation and he allocates a major part of his wealth for charity purposes. Managers of Wipro should discuss their HR practices with Azim Premji and ask him is this the way he wants the company to ruin the life of employees. After all, ‘Charity Begins at Home’!
We published another article where an employee of Wipro (David) after he was terminated within 3 months of losing his job attempted a bank robbery. We got a mail response from one of his friends after reading the article in the union website. We want to highlight the mail to viewers:
I am writing this with pain and hope that Pravin will receive help from any of us willing to do so for him, for long.
I am one of his Friends and ex-colleague too.
I know Pravin and his family quite well. Pravin is a very good person at heart, very knowledgeable and down to earth. His knowledge of music, training (behavioral training and soft skills) is phenomenal. He has two lovely kids and a wife. There were domestic issues like any other family would have. He always cared and worked for his family. His demeanor was highly appreciated by all his bosses, his colleagues as well as his trainees and friends too.
I have seen Pravin sail through rough storms of life and always emerged as a winner. His advice about life and career and to do something better always kept me intact in following my passion and career.
For sure, Pravin would not have taken to this extreme act if His family cared for him a little more. I am ashamed as a good friend of his, that I wasn’t able to help him much other than providing job references to him. But I’ve vowed to myself, that I will not let anyone in my network of friends and colleagues go through this kind of thoughts or actions.
My last conversation with him was about a training opportunity in Pune. I told him to send his resume and make a few calls to get the training project.
I firmly believe that for a man – income to provide for his family; support and care from his family is more than sufficient to sail through the toughest storms of life. Pravin was left lacking these two in his life. Despite all these – He’s still a good friend of mine. For such, there is no law.
I still cannot digest this about Pravin David, my friend, and his two little kids.
This incident involving David is portrayed by media as IT employee in robbery with toy gun and dummy bomb as a joker sort of incident. We also read the article and forget it as usual. But this mail from his friend show the other side of David and how layoffs affect IT employees in their lives. We, from the union side appeal to fellow IT employees take all efforts to help David in whatever way we can.
We warned many people that junior employees should not be relaxed that their jobs are saved till 10 year of service and hence show no interest to join unions. We warned them about the importance of unions in number of instances and sooner or later the companies will start targeting new joiners also.
Now the wolf has come down for real. Termination is happening for 2 year experience people.
If we continue to fold our hands and be happy to have our jobs even as our seniors and colleagues are axed, the companies will produce many more Davids and Sathyarajs.
Let us unite to put an end to this.
– a Senior IT Employee