A tripartite conciliation meeting between officials of the IT firm Cognizant Technology Solutions, a group of affected employees under the Forum of IT Employees (FITE) and the state joint labour commissioner (JLC) was held in Chennai on Wednesday to deliberate on the vexed lay-off issue as alleged by the union members. This follows a petition moved by the aggrieved employees a few days ago with the state government’s labour department. Earlier, a similar tri-partite meeting had taken place in Hyderabad following a petition filed by the affected employees. When contacted, the company spokesperson confirmed the Wednesday’s meeting, but however, declined to comment further.
It is believed that there were three to four senior officials of HR department of the company attended the meeting. According to sources here, the Forum alleged that the company was forcing some of the employees to submit their resignations. The company officials who were part of the tri-partite meeting told the joint labour commissioner that the company was neither indulging in lay offs nor had asked any employee to submit resignation. The company also sought a few days’ time to come out with the detailed information, the sources added.
When contacted, a spokesperson of the IT wing of NDLF, another union spearheading the cause, said that the employees are under pressure to resign and those resigned on their own aired their grievances with the joint labour commissioner. “We moved the labour department to ensure that no untoward incidents like lay offs takes place henceforth and requested the joint labour commissioner to take strong measures,” the spokesperson said.
It is also believed that the joint labour commissioner advised the affected employees (those who claimed to have lost job and were participants in Wednesday’s meeting) to take up the case individually with the department.
It may be noted that the unions such as FITE and NDLF IT Employees Wing were trying to mobilise the IT employees to argue their cause at a time when thousands of employees either were laid off or asked to resign owing to increasing automation, digitisation and cost cutting measures as well the pressure to recruit locals in the US, the major outsourcing market for Indian IT companies.