Over the past two weeks, some major IT companies are reporting the news directly and indirectly through the media of the IT sector layoffs. The first was the email of Cognizant CEO to the employees about the layoff, then Infosys and then Capgemini followed it.
Both UNITE and AIFITE condemned this atrocious act of companies. A press release was issued on behalf of the unions and a complaint was filed with the Labor Welfare Commission. From NDLF IT, an article was published on the website on how employees should face these layoff threats. Over the next few days, Cognizant sacked the executive of the FITE Union. In addition, FITE Union members working in Cognizant had already filed a 2K lawsuit with the Labor Welfare Commission. Cognizant showed its arrogance by terminating them also.
In this regard, a statement was issued on behalf of our NDLF IT Employees Wing on our website.
As such, our union members and members of other unions are facing these layoff issues legally and through media help and are working towards a solution. But most of the IT Employees are not even interested in knowing that the trade unions are functioning in their sector.
Last week (20/11/2019) in Hyderabad, Ms. Harini, a 24-year-old woman working as IT Employee committed suicide due to stress and depression as her name was listed on the Shortlisted for Termination sheet by the company she worked for. The media that conveys the news obscures in which company this happened, is it because of corporate loyalty?
Suicides such as this in the IT Sector has become a regular thing. one being a stressful workplace and the other an illegal dismissal, are the main causes, which can be termed as a hidden human rights violation.
On the one hand, Companies do not comply with existing laws in order to fire their employees. At the same time, the selected employees are kept in a separate room and are forced to resign in a rowdy style. The layoff victim will be an engineering graduate, will be familiar with the international news, be able to observe the stock market situation and contribute to the development of various software with his skills. But when a HR officer (HR) forces him in a separate room saying, ‘unless you resign yourself, we will add your name to the NASSCOM Block List’, he will sign with no objection.
Most employees, except very few, fear the mildest threat. Like mere mortals with no resistance or temperament. After the Liberalization, Privatization & Globalization in 1991, the impact it has had has made most of the people apolitical and dwarfed their fighting spirit. It is no exaggeration to say that petty-bourgeois IT employees are prime examples of this.
This is used by MNCs and corporates on their employees operating in India. That is why a person takes it so casually when his/her colleague commits suicide because of layoffs.
Last Monday our union executives and other union executives went to the Labor Office to meet with the commissioner. (This is a situation where union executives have to go since most of the affected employees are not afraid of raising it up)
On the same day, employees of MotherSon, a company operating near the city of Chennai, have been protesting for the past three months, claiming that they have not been given a pay raise for more than ten years. But the administration has not come forward with any talks. Already, the workers are unionized. Hundreds of employees, led by the union, came to the office of the Labor Welfare Commission and blockaded with the slogan, ‘Labor Welfare Commission Should Interfere’
If there is such unity and struggle amongst our IT staff, will the companies dare to force employees to resign or lay off? What gives so much courage to companies is their overriding belief that ‘people like Harini are not likely to fight’
If IT companies make billions in profits every year, isn’t it all because of IT employees’ tireless work? They are dedicated to this world of computerizing office work and simplifying various tasks. They effectively handled all the challenges in it. Our talented IT employees who can accomplish many things can be confident that it will bring about a great revolution in time to come when we all unionize. Towards those moments…!
Organizer, NDLF IT Employees Wing