IT Layoffs – A Compilation

Appendix to the Memorandum submitted to the JCL, Chennai on August 28, 2017

Media Reports

  1. On May 18, 2017, NDLF IT Employees Wing held a demonstration condemning layoffs/forced resignations by IT companies and called on IT employees to organize as union. Several media covered the event and various IT employees took part in the demonstration and shown solidarity.
    Venue: near Sholingallur signal, Chennai Date: May 18th Thursday Time: Evening 5 pm to 7 pm
  2. On July 29, 2017, hundreds of IT employees staged protest against mass layoffs at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park. IT employees from various companies spoken about unethical practices happening across various top companies in front of media and demanded union recognition for employee welfare.

“I may get a call from the HR anytime now asking me to resign,” said IT employee from Wipro.

Another 40-year-old automation architect from Infosys on the condition of anonymity said, ” Our company is under tremendous pressure to lay off 10 per cent of our employees. The maximum experience they want their seniors to have is eight years. Those with 10 and 15 years experience are being told you can’t be trained in big data or artificial intelligence, so please go.”


Shiva (name changed) is 48 and is an SAP consultant in Wipro. ” Already 16,000 employees have been laid off out of 1.8 lakh employees but none of them show as layoffs. They are shown as resignations,” he said.

Employees spoke about depression, suicidal tendencies and lack of avenues to support.

According to an estimate by the ITEU, 80,000 techies have been sacked from various companies in the last one year. “We have spoken to many of these grieving employees and established a databank of their stories. Many women techies have come forward revealing stories of harassment at their work places.

“In the near future, about 40,000 to 50,000 techies are likely to lose their jobs owing to global developments and we urge the government to intervene and safeguard the techies’ future.,” Kumaraswamy said.

The protesters also submitted a memorandum to IT Minister Priyank Kharge and Labour Minister Santosh Lad.

“Thousands of professionals working in the IT sector have lost their jobs and around 6,000 more will be terminated soon. Stop forced resignations, illegal and unilateral termination, strictly enforce labour laws in IT and ITES, stop unfair labour practices, and appoint grievance redressal committees,” the memorandum read.

3. On Aug 18, 2017, Karnataka IT minister Priyank Kharge commented on Layoffs and retrenchment happening in IT industry despite statements of no Layoffs from Union Minister Ravishankar Prasad and Nasscom representation.

Experts say that artificial intelligence and automation are going to have a huge impact on jobs. Is that a concern for the government?

Priyank Kharge: Retrenchment is a concern, I agree with that. Having said that, it is not the end of the world. We are trying to reskill people. The centres of excellence I spoke about is in the direction of trying to skill and reskill people. We are coming up with a programme ‘Yuva Yuga’ where we are trying to make graduates more employable.

You recently took inputs on the layoffs in the IT sector. What measures are you taking to mitigate the pain?

PriyankKharge: It is a very difficult thing to do and I am treading on a very thin line. I cannot entirely take an employee perspective and have a policy that is regressive. Nor can I take a completely capitalistic view on this. Because, if I don’t get investments I cannot create employment. I am hopeful that the industry and the employee bodies come together to sort this out along with us.

4. Also Mohandas Pai, a leading figure in IT industry, confirmed on IT layoff as normal exercise in media and provided threats to people who join union in an open statement which needs to be condemned.

Mohandas Pai

Mohandas Pai

“IT lay off is ‘normal’, says Mohandas Pai

“The companies are laying off just about two to three percent. This is not that big a number. It is normal for companies to take up this restructure exercise every three to five years,” Pai told ANI.

He also insulted the law of land granting right to form unions to IT employees/

“No one is supporting them [unions]. Individuals who go together with them won’t ever get jobs,” he had stated.

Most IT employees do not come forward to form unions because they are afraid that the whole industry will single them out and blacklist for life. Their details will be spread among Nasscom members and databases. That’s why you would not find IT employee unions,” said Hyderabad-based software engineer Srinu who declined to give his full name.

5. Employees from corporations such as the IBM, Wipro, and Mindtree in Karnataka registered with the KITU on August 20. Within 15 days, the KITU, with it 21-member executive committee, will submit an application with the registrar to incorporate the body.

6. On May 17 2017, Vikatan magazine survey results highlighted the plight and sufferings of IT employees.

a) 67% of survey respondents voiced over fear of Layoffs.
b) Almost 84% of survey respondents spoken of job insecurity.
c) Around 85% of survey respondents highlighted work pressure.
d) 78.4% respondents conveyed of family dependency on their job.

 Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra

Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra

7. Education analyst Nedunchezian on may 18 2017 sun news debate spoken of Corruption practices in Campus Hiring events.

8. However, Nasscom director Purushothaman maintained that there are “No layoffs” inspite of various Newspaper articles about Layoffs and filing of 2A petitions by affected employees across various jurisdictions.

9. In the following video, IT Employee Ram talks about job insecurity and issues with rating system.

10. On July 08, 2017, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra tendered a public apology over the manner in which an employee of Tech Mahindra was asked to quit by HR in an audio which went viral over social media. Mahindra took to social media to apologise over the incident on Friday saying the core value of the conglomerate is to “preserve the dignity of the individual”.

Tech Mahindra CEO CP Gurnani also took to social media to tendered an apology

The HR executive said: “Cost optimisation is happening at the company and your name is part of that list. If you can put in papers we will be treating it as a normal exit with June 15 as last working day, if not, we will be sending you a termination letter.”

11. The fear of job loss even drove one IT employee to suicide. On July 13,2017, A 25-Year-Old Techie In Pune Allegedly Jumped To His Death Fearing Layoff which shook the IT employees across India.

A 25-year-old techie from Andhra Pradesh, employed in Pune, allegedly jumped offthe sixth floor of the hotel he was staying at and killed himself. Reports mention he left a suicide note in English saying, ‘In IT there is no job security. I am worried a lot about my family’.

Gopalakrishna Gurupsasad, who was working with an IT company, is survived by his parents and sister. People who knew him describe Guruprasad as a hardworking young man with an amiable disposition by most accounts. However, turns out that he was so anxious — reportedly about losing his job — that he first tried to slash his wrist by inflicting over two dozen cuts. When that didn’t work, he allegedly decided to take the drastic step that left him dead.

12. Employees are put under pressure to retain their jobs and worked long hours staying in the company. One such employee lost his life in the company premises.

A Senior Infosys Employee Writes to Management

Ilayaraja from Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai district was working in Infosys Mahindra City campus. He was found dead in the dormitory bathroom on Wednesday morning. Different news reports give different version of what happened. One thing is clear. Ilayaraja went to work to Infosys, Mahindra City on Monday and worked, slept, worked and slept for 48 hours at the end of which he was found dead in the bathroom of company dormitory.

30 years old Ilayaraja’s tragic and unfortunate death saddens everyone. The company was prompt in sending an Obituary email to all employees, removing Ilayaraja’s profile in the system immediately and issuing sanitized information to press, police and outsiders.

Ilayaraja has succumbed to Infosys work practices. This is the second death of an employee inside Infosys campus in the past 6 months. In January Infosys employee Raseela Rajau was killed in Infosys’s Pune camputs. Now Ilayaraja’s life is lost.

Questions to Infosys Management:

  • Is it normal for an employee to stay 2 days in office without going home?
  • What work did Ilayaraja do on May 29, 30, 31? Did HR inform Ilayaraja’s home that he is staying in the company and working continuously for 48 hours?
  • Which client did Ilayaraja serve? Did ilayaraja’s project mates and persons in client location also stayed back for the last 48 hours in office? What sort of best practices were followed by Infosys to ensure safety of employees working for such gruelling hours?
  • Why separate room facility was not given for Ilayaraja who stayed for project related requirement?
  • Why Managers and best practices never question why employees are staying more than 8 hours in office?
    Are clients forcing employees to stay for 48 hours ? Which clients?
  • Will working hours records of all 2 lakh employees of Infosys be scrutinized to expose similar violations?
  • Most importantly why autopsy report of Ilayaraja’s reason for death has not been communicated to media ?

Infosys staffer found dead in firm’s Chennai premises, foulplay suspected

13. We also want to highlight lack of safe working environment for IT employees. A 25-year-old techie from Kerala was found murdered in her office on January 29. K Rasila Raju, an employee of Infosys, Pune, was allegedly strangled with a computer wire and was hit hard on the face
Pune Murder: Security wasn’t the only man harassing Rasila at infosys

Highlights

  • Raju was not happy to work at Pune office
  • She was expecting to receive her transfer order by February first week
  • The girl often used to complain about her team lead

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