We wish all IT employees a Happy New Year 2019 on behalf of NDLF IT Employees Wing.
We had our last union meeting on December 22, 2018 and discussed about the various happenings in our industry and our contribution as union last year. This article summarizes our union activities in various areas last year.
We will start with a story of a pregnant lady who approached our union last year. Pregnant with her 2nd child, she got a call from HR to submit resignation on immediate basis. She was worried very much about job loss she faced and was in panic. We provided counseling and helped her overcome her panic. We explained the various legal clauses and labor laws for employees in IT sector. We also mentioned various legal rights women employee have and terminating pregnant employee might amount to serious violation in legal terms. Later we helped her communicate with her human resource officer about the legal violation company is doing if they terminate (force to resign) a pregnant employee. We also mentioned about legal protection a pregnant employee has and terminating pregnant employee without giving maternity benefits is a serious offense. She communicated with the human resource officer and her bosses. Within 2 days, HR officer called and mentioned that there is no need to submit resignation and she can continue her services. Threat to her job loss is sorted out with a single mail and she did not get any further calls after that. She continued with the company and currently she is on maternity leave. This instance is just a sample of several employees we helped last year.
We were approached by more than 200 different employees with such issues last year alone. These employees are based out in different locations across India (including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Coimbatore) and working in different companies. The companies include top Indian IT companies like Tech Mahindra, Wipro, CTS, TCS, HCL and MNCs like Verizon, Inautix, Oracle, CapGemini, World Source etc. With our limited means, we saved the jobs of nearly 80% of these employees who faced job loss through illegal means. This numbers only include directly helped employees, but definitely our efforts contributed to slow down of corporates terminating employees in blatant manner. This resulted in overall reduction of illegal threats to employees by HR.
Layoff colors also changed last year and we see many employees are terminated in அ single day without giving sufficient notice period. We spread awareness to IT employees on only way to overcome this issue is to register with NDLF.
The various issues IT employees faced in 2018 is summarized as below:
- Tech Mahindra targeted many employees working in Pune and Bangalore for layoff. We supported Tech Mahindra employees and formed a group. We counsel them on how to face this tough times and as result we have saved 50+ employee jobs directly and much more indirectly.
- Inautix has laid off 700+ employees in a single day. Last Year Verizon has laid off with bouncers and it was widely reported in all leading media. Inautix (now called as Bank of New York Mellon) advanced layoff practices. They used police in colour dress, doctors, Bouncers, Ambulance to layoff people. Inautix Confessions facebook page is used by management to spread negativity among employees and bring perception that hire and fire is legal. We exposed the intention of this confluence page and how management is using such pages to cheat employees.
- Verizon sold more than 1000 employees to Infosys. We exposed the nature of this deal which attracted national and international attention.
- Wipro is forcing employees to take annual year end leaves forcefully and we are raising concerns against this action.
If you want to take up unfair or illegal labour practices in any IT/ITES company, please contact us.
We have helped 30+ employees filing 2A cases in different locations against different companies. We also filed 2K cases against Wipro and Cognizant as part of union.
In IT industry for the first time, 2K dispute against Wipro was referred to the labour court by the state government after the conciliation meetings failed to resolve the grievances of employees. Tamilnadu Governor refered the case to labour court to investigate the concern raised by Wipro employees. The reference GO is printed in Tamilnadu Gazette and this is one milestone incident against any IT company across India.
The jobs of employees who filed 2K dispute against Wipro are safeguarded and all these employees are still working in Wipro. This 2K dispute is raised in Jul 2017 and this case saved the employees job for last 20 months so far. This dispute is a live answer on how unions can save employee jobs and the power of collective bargaining.
We have conducted monthly meetings each month of the year for our members in which union activities, various developments in IT industry and political issues were discussed. This helped our union members to grow into a socially responsible and active union members.
We faced an issue last year that main stream media is not considering issues in IT employee perspective and definitely we want to build our own media to publish news. We published more than 400 articles in our website. Our site attracted more than half a million views in 2018. We published several hundred memes and posts in our facebook page and viewer rate is in 1000s on all these memes. Some of our important articles reached 3 lakh readers. We are publishing articles in Quora and answering various queries related to layoff raised by IT employees. Some of the articles reached even 6 lakh views in Quora.
Our union members’ contribution made this possible and now our website and facebook page have more attention. A few examples to quote in this regard : suicide of Tech employee Ganta Chaitanya has reached main stream media after our news. The news about selling Verizon employees to Infosys also reached almost all main stream media. Bank robbery of IT employee also reached all main stream media. These news are a few examples on how our website helped in reaching issues of IT employees to outside world. This is just a starting and definitely we are sure in coming years, our website and facebook page will play a vital role to help IT employees raise their voice. Our union members also contributed articles to the Tamil labour monthly Puthya Thozhilali published by NDLF every month.
In our union perspective, there are a few changes happened. We had our annual election of office bearers for the year and we have our committee members elected by our union members as part of this election. Our main NDLF general secretary Suba Thangarasu is elected as honorary president of IT wing. We thank our honorary president during 2017-18 Comrade Vijayakumar for his valuable personal guidance which helped us to take forward many of the legal cases for our members.
A Management student from Ahmedabad IIM, a Law college student from Delhi, a Journalist student from Chennai approached our union last year for their project work/thesis and our union members helped in facilitating them.
We had a detailed discussion with Dona Conroy of brightfuturejobs.com. Her firm is fighting for the rights of various American workers. She explained how Indian companies exploit working conditions in US and the impact it creates in job market of US. She expressed her interest to work together with NDLF and also explore possibility of her team visiting India to work on next steps. We will publish a separate article soon on this topic.
We published a ebook and printed book titled “IT Life Fun or problems” in both Tamil and English languages. Readers can buy this book in 42nd Chennai book fair held between 4th Jan and 20th (Stall Number 147 & 148 as part of Keezhai Katru Publication). We are sure that this book is a good start for all IT employees to face layoff challenge to safeguard their jobs and must have book in every IT employee’s book shelves. So we recommend IT employees to buy the book in Chennai book fair.
We are politically aware and responsible and are part of various happenings in both state of Tamilnadu and across India. As part of Sterlite protest, people are killed mercilessly based on corporate orders. We gathered IT employees and conducted peaceful protest in Sholinganallur Sez, Sipcot Siruseri and Mahindra City organizing more than 5000 people along with our fellow IT union FITE. This is a good start of changing the perception of IT employees to the outside world
We also showed our solidarity in supporting other unions in their protest against unfair and illegal practices. We joined Yamaha workers union protest and extended support. We published various articles in our website supporting the workers.
As part of Cyclone Gaja disaster, we collected funds. Many union members working in different companies stayed several days in remote affected areas in Nagapatinam districts and rendered helping hands to affected people with limited funds and man power we had.
Out of all, the major bomb threat is the fixed term employment introduced by BJP government. This will allow corporates to hire and fire as per their needs. This will set labor conditions back to 200 years. We strongly condemn this act of BJP government and all other political parties of state and centre who are silent in this regard.
Definitely we had a tough but interesting year of 2018. We know that this is just a start but definitely we foresee this is a good start. We are sure our union will grow faster in this year 2019 and definitely corporates by their action will make more and more IT employees to realise the need for unionization.
– President, NDLF IT Employees Wing