Following news reports that Cognizant Technology Solutions is planning to retrench 6,000 – 20,000 employees to reduce costs and maintain profitability, we published a post “Cognizant steals employees pay, prepares to retrench 000s” criticising and exposing CTS management’s cavaliar approach towards its employees. This post published on March 21, 2017 is widely circulated through social media like Facebook and WhatsApp. In addition thousands of views were registerd on our website for this article.
On 27-03-2017 we sent a letter on behalf of NDLF IT Employees Wing to CTS seeking clarification about the reported layoffs. The message was sent through email on 27th and through registered post on 28th. India Post confirmed that the letter was delivered on 29th.
The Chief Executive Officer,
Cognizant Technology Solutions,
#5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road,
Okkiam -Thoraipakkam, Chennai 600 096
Tel: +91-44-42096000 Fax: +91-44-42096060
Sub : Seeking clarification regarding news reports suggesting deductions in variable pay and retrenchment of thousands of employees.
New Democratic Labour Front (NDLF) is a trade union functioning in Tamil Nadu and Puduchery for the past 20 years. After working among IT employees in Tamil Nadu for several years, we started IT Employees Wing of our union in January 2015. Employees from IT/ITES companies are members of our union.
We successfully appealed to the Tamil Nadu government to clarify that all state and central labour laws are applicable to IT companies and IT employees are entitled to form unions and seek redressal for their grievances under Industrial Disputes Act 1947.
We filed various legal cases on behalf of our union members on issues such as mass retrenchments without following due process, illegal increase of working hours, deduction of pay under appraisal system, and recruitment scams by HR departments of IT companies. Further, we have been campaigning among IT employees to create awareness about their rights under Indian laws such as right to form union, right to collective negotiation, right to job security, working hours within legal limits so on.
Recently, members of our union and IT employees in general were perturbed by news reports suggesting that CTS is in the process of retrenching 6,000 – 10,000 employees citing performance issues. It is also reported that the variable pay, which rightfully belongs to the employees is cut arbitrarily.
Are these news items published with your knowledge and approval? If the news of mass retrenchment is true, we request you to clarify the relevant section of Indian laws under which you are carrying out retrenchments. If the news is not true, please issue a statement denying these reports to our union or to the public media.
Media reports suggesting that thousands of employees are identified for retrenchment have caused severe mental distress to employees and their families. Your clarification will provide solace to all these employees and help them to discharge their work duties in a peaceful state of mind.
We await your reply at the earliest.
S Karpaga Vinayagam,
Organizer, IT Employees Wing,
New Democratic Labour Front, Tamil Nadu
March 23, 2017
However, we have not received any reply from CTS management so far on this issue.
In the mean time NDLF – IT Employees Wing, Forum For IT Employees (F.I.T.E) and Knowledge Professionals Forum (KPF) decided to conduct a joint campaign against this illegal layoffs by CTS. A pamphlet in English/Tamil is prpeared and thousands of copies printed for distribution among IT employees.
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CTS management has taken a decision which will affect the lives of thousands of its employees. But it refuses to discuss with the employees and be transparent about what is being done. Instead, information is leaked to the press and anonymous sources within the company tell reporters that this is just a regular process carried out every year.
The only way to make CTS and other IT companies act responsibly towards employees is organizing ourselves as a union and asserting our rights through continuous struggle against these policies.
New Democratic Labour Front – IT Employees Wing