Verizon Infosys Deal – What is Wrong in Terming it Slave Trade?

We published the article on Verizon – Infosys deal articulating the concerns of Verizon employees. This article is one of the viral articles last week and as per our estimate this article reached more than 100,000 readers through various channels.

Our article was published in full by  TNLabour.in and communicationstoday.co.in. It is quoted by articles in Times of India and Tamil.goodreturns.in )

We have published this article articulating this trade as Slave trade. There are various criticisms put forth by readers about portraying IT employees as slaves. The negative comments we got are:

  1. It will badly affect the IT employee morale. How can you say IT employees are slaves?
  2. Here Verizon employees are moving to Infosys which is a equally good company.
  3. New democrats is publishing this with intention of creating negativity and bad politics about IT employees.

Most of these comments are submitted to the tamil article at tamil.goodreturns.in.

On the other hand, US employees in general acknowledge that this is slave trade and both companies are considering employees as slaves. See https://www.thelayoff.com/t/UTxo80A and comments section of our article. [We also publish various cartoons depicting employment for wages as slavery, it is a widespread notion among working class in the advanced countries.]

Some samples :

  1. Anonymous on September 29, 2018 at 3:15 am
    This is complete slave trade for the employees in USA. To avoid paying severance package, retirement medical benefits etc for the employees, Verizon decided cheap trade by threatening employees that your employment will be terminated if you don’t take Infosys offer and also you wont be qualified for severence/ benefits since we are providing you offer with Infosys. They just want to overload their packets by emptying employees pockets. More than anything, they have discrimination among employees by choosing some qualifying for severence and no offer to other employees. The employees here in USA dont believe in Infosys that the jobs are guaranteed or if their treatment will be fair enough after a year of job guarantee period. So, the better option would have been severence package/ benefits instead of going to Infosys. WE ARE AT A LOSS.
  2. Swetha on September 30, 2018 at 8:36 am
    I am a ex-employee of VERIZON.. There are too many cheap politics with this company.
    Shankar so called CIO IT made a deal with google and forced gmail as a corporate email communicator. (May be a rumor)
    SVP’s, VP’s, Director’s saved there religion/ race/ region people. Some of the directors after knowing about the outsourcing .. they made sure they had sent his people to other teams where there won’t be any impact. The entire company is in that state.Don’t expect anything from VERIZON unless they outsource all the higher management and bring some fresh leadership starting from Shankar(CIO -IT).
    Just an FYI- I was not impacted with this New Slave Trade.
  3. Bob Cratchit on September 30, 2018 at 11:25 pm
    VZ is actually stealing the severance pay of 4800 IT workers being involuntarily terminated, and using it to fund the $700 million outsourcing of their jobs to India-based IS, plus forcing them to train their replacements.
    These 4800 do not get their earned severance for this termination up front with freedom to work anywhere (as per normal), cannot post for another VZ job (as per normal), have to accept the IS job offer with a week to decide or else forfeit both a normal severance and the IS job, work there at least a year (normally-lower IS pay supplemented by the stolen severance will be raised up to their previous VZ levels for that year only, as if stringing out their severance and bundling it with IS pay, to coerce their staying the full year and not leave money on the table that was rightly owed to them up front), after which they are likely to be fired with no severance, now being 1-yr IS employees.
    It’s a backdoor outsourcing to an offshore company, funded off the backs of the workers’ own stolen severance pay!

However, I feel it is my responsibility to answer the negative comments by Indian readers. I know I used a very harsh word “Slave” in this article. Let me state the justifications for that term and after reading this article, let the reader decide if the term I used is correct or not.

We will see the various characteristics of Slaves in ancient world and how they were used by their masters comparing it with with IT employees:

  1. Slaves do not bother about any thing happening to their fellow slaves. If the master harasses a fellow slave in whatever way, other slaves will not raise their voice.
    In Verizon (Verizon data services India – Indian subsidiary of Verizon), nearly 1000 employees were terminated in a single day using bouncers. The remaining employees did not raise even their voice to things happening to their fellow employees. Refer to our article Verizon Layoffs – Join NDLF to protect you Rights
  2. When a company terminated pregnant ladies illegally to cut down their costs, the concerned supervisor and fellow employees did not show any objection. Refer our article HR Targetting Pregnant Employees is Illegal and Inhuman.
  3. When a company implements a policy that forces employees to take leave during Christmas time to increase the margin, we cross this as business as usual. Refer our article IT Companies Stealing Employee Money with Forced Leaves
  4.  Slaves did not resist even when their fellow employees or even themselves are tortured to death:
    As per survey, more than 8000 IT employees committed suicide and illegal termination is the primary reason for many of the suicides. We want to highlight the suicide of Ganta Chaitanya who worked in CSC. He was given pink slip and jumped from his office building and committed suicide. Refer our article Tragic Suicide, Media Blackout and Government Apathy – the Plight of IT Employees.
  5. Slaves are forced to work for more hours continuously for the profit greed of the masters:
    There are many IT employees working long hours and weekends continuously to meet the project pressure. Refer our article “Leave Office Early (On Time) ” – Employees Action Based on NDLF Post
  6. Kangani (supervisors) are one among the slaves who are trained to monitor the work. They punish the slaves if they did not work. But Kangani never becomes a master and he remains one of the slaves only.
    HR officers and supervisors who are also paid labor are the “Kanganis” involved in termination activities. Their role is like somerkondos in Auschwitz extermination camp. Refer our article Nazi Gas Chambers and HR Exit Process
  7. Slaves will not form a group among themselves and fight for their needs:
    If Auto drivers or bus drivers have any problems, they have unions and fight back through unions. When the management terminated 2 employees of Yamaha factor, Oragadam belt went on strike. But even if thunder strikes on the head, IT employees, hesitate to join unions and fight for their basic rights. Please refer our article about Yamaha strike and IT unions
  8. Slaves will be sold from one master to other without consultation and consent. :
    In case of Verizon – Infosys deal, there are various concerns among Verizon employees and they are not addressed fully and employees are sold in bulk to Infosys. Please refer our coverage on this news

Now I leave the decision to readers if I was right to call fellow IT employees using the term of slaves.

Yes, you heard it correct and I am also the part of slave group. I am also in Information technology sector for more than 50% of my life. I am resisting the slavery act upon me and I know the risk associated with it. Definitely knife is hanging all the time above my job as well. I feel calling myself as slave is far better than living even without knowing I am a slave.

The modern benefits and comforts in IT industry prevents many of the employees from realising their problems. They are afraid to lose their job. Which makes them think only about self-interest and not care for any other thing outside their personal job career. But I strongly feel as in the past any form of slavery will not last long and in IT sector also we will put an end to this wage slavery.

Raising our voice against the slavery like situation makes employers sit up and take notice. In many cases they try to make amends to retain employee good will. Let us see the developments after our article is published and widely covered in other media as well.

We had detailed discussions with more Indian based Verizon employees and update the further happenings in the deal:

  1. Verizon has annual leave of 5 weeks (35 days) whereas Infosys has weekly holiday of 3 weeks (21 days). Verizon agrees to pay additional package of 14 days of salary for the first year period after employees move to Infosys. So if Verizon employee moved from Nov 2018, they will get encashment amount of 14 days leave before they move to Infosys. It is good to know that Verizon has taken care of this issue atleast for the first year. But we insist that all moved employees should get the same annual leave benefit they enjoyed in Infosys also.
  2. Every time Democrats argue for increasing the minimum wage, Republicans trot out the same old arguments: it will increase unemployment, employers will move overseas, and it will increase the barrier for entry for new workers. Studies repeatedly show that none of these things are true, of course, but yet they persist to be argued and reported.

    Our concern on employee losing gratuity is also partially addressed. Verizon informed that they pay gratuity accrued before the deal even if the employee did not complete 5 years. This part we are not sure if there are any government regulation but as long as employees are benefited, this is also a good move from Verizon.

  3. Verizon will pay partial share value of 1 lakh Ruppee for every employee moving to Infosys. This amount is paid in 2 parts. The first 50% is paid before the movement and the second part of 50% is paid after completion of 1 year.
  4. There are more meetings happenings in Verizon offices after the spread of this news. HR officers and senior officials are giving very positive assurances to all employees which is also good thing. But, as we pointed out earlier the assurances should come also from Infosys.
  5. Verizon project which is shifted to Infosys is for a minimum period of 5 years. Infosys agrees to pay same salary structure for 1 year duration. But Verizon wants to extend this minimum contract of 1 year to more duration but Infosys is not ready for this. This is the most worrying part of the employee. They did not get any commitment from Infosys. They are worried about the uncertainty part of their job after 1 year. This is a critical factor and Infosys management should come forward and help in addressing the basic and most vital concern of Verizon employees.
  6. Some of the employees raised their concern about transport. In Chennai, there are initial discussion to setup new office in Mahindra city. Verizon management is giving commitment that their new office will be within 6 KMS of their current office. They are trying to find their new office in Ramanujam Tech Park
  7. The salary increment part for this year is not confirmed and employees are not sure if Infosys management will consider this year hike in their offer letter. Employees did not receive their offers yet from Infosys and release of offer from Infosys will answer many of the questions.
  8. As per management guidelines, employee who has around 10 years of experience with Verizon will be getting 4 lakh to 5 lakh benefit in the form of shares, leave encashment, future vacation of 2 weeks and other benefits.

This addresses most of the employee issues from monetary perspective. But the uncertainty of their job after 1 year duration in Infosys is still there among employees. We appreciate Verizon management in India for addressing some of employees concerns. But this uncertainty of job is the most vital and worrying factor for the employees. If this is not addressed properly, employees will have always feel the uncertainty in this deal. On behalf of our union, we urge you to clarify this uncertainty and make this transition comfortable in all possible ways.

This is about Indian employees (VDSL) but US it is completely different. There are more and more concerns and there are complaints that Verizon is stealing employee money from their pocket and signing this deal against their interests. We are in more discussions with US employees. Their issues are really more worrying and we will write in detail about their concerns soon.

– Shyam Sundar, President,
NDLF IT Employees Wing

NDLF IT Employees Wing president Mr. Shyam has published a book “IT life – FUN or Problems” Please read this book ( you can buy or read online), please go through the same and you will have more information about the rights of employees.

Permanent link to this article: http://new-democrats.com/verizon-infosys-deal-what-is-wrong-in-terming-it-slave-trade/

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