We have published an article on Verizon layoff last Friday and this became one of the viral stories published in our site. We have interaction with more employees now and this is a follow up of the news published earlier.
Based on our conversation, Verizon employees are categorized under 3 set of people:
- Indian employees who got Infosys offer
- Employees working in Verizon premises in US
- Indian employees who did not get Infosys offer
Our first article talks about the problems of Indian employees who got Infosys offer. We posted various concerns of these employees in that article. In addition to those concerns, they have highlighted another important issue on increments.
Verizon usually has yearly increment cycle by the month of Dec. So even if Infosys matches the salary of Verizon, they are worried they will not get increment. As they are joining Infosys newly, there is a high possibility that their increment is cut for 2 years. So their concern is Verizon should release increment offer prior to the transition and Infosys also should include these increments in their offer. But overall if these concerns are addressed and Infosys meets the requirement of current salary structure, employees of Verizon feels better to move to Infosys. Their only worry is Infosys should retain them permanently and should not be time bound for 1 year.
We also talked with employees working in US. Their problem is completely different as they are very hesitant to join India based Infosys. These employees have worked for decades in Verizon and now Verizon is not giving the complete set of severance package based on their experience level in Verizon. Verizon is threatening that they are giving offer in Infosys and if they don’t want to take Infosys offer, employee should take the minimum severance package offered by Verizon. But still a large portion of employees are not ready to take the Infosys offer as they are hesitant to move to Infosys and they are afraid with various retention/rotation policies within Infosys. Many employees left with no choice of taking lower severance package as they don’t want to take the Infosys offer any way. We want to highlight the comment of one of the US based employees in this regard:
“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”
We will focus now on the third set of people who worked in Verizon and did not get any offer with Infosys. Verizon laid off more than 1000 of people last year with the help of bouncers. After that attrition level is very high in Verizon and employee strength reduced considerably. Now after this move, the total strength of employees will come down to 3000 in India. They are afraid about their condition as they are not sure what will happen to them. There is another news from Verizon where it is requesting its employees in US to opt for Voluntary retirement schemes. They are afraid Verizon move is to shift completely from Information technology space and there will be more layoffs in the future. They think people who got offer in Infosys are lucky and worried much more than those who got offer. They are mentally worried about last year incidents of Verizon using bouncers and laid of nearly 20% of their friends in a single day. So this move creates a lot of uncertainty on them.
So in all 3 categories employee mind set, this transition has a lot of issues and fears. So as we mentioned, it is the responsibility of both Infosys and Verizon to clear all the doubts of these employees. Government should also come forward and ensure this transition is happening with the best interest of employees. Unless this is done, this will be seen as a slave trade by affected employees.
So far only Verizon has given assurance about the pay structure and seniority of transferred employees. Infosys has not commented on this. The sending party can make any promises, but it has to be confirmed by the receiving party, as the employees future and career are to be decided in Infosys.
As part of Union, we are here to help employees of Verizon in whatever possible way we can and employees should come forward to contact us for any help. We recommend employees to post their issues in the comment section so that we can use this as discussion forum on concerns and to make outside world know your concern. As part of our responsibility, we will stand with employees in this move and assure we will do the best possible help making employees addressing their issue in this regard.
Together we speak. Together we act. Together we win.
– Shyam Sundar, President,
NDLF IT Employees Wing