The IT employees associations today sought to allay fears of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy towards trade unionism, saying they do not believe in ‘hartals’ and lockouts, but “compassionate unionism,” where problems are addressed in a holistic manner. “We totally disagree with Narayana Murthy’s fear over formation of unions.. we believe in compassionate unionism, where the problems are addressed in holistic manner, without causing much harm to the IT sector,” Forum For IT Employees Vice President Vasumathi told PTI in an interview. “If Murthy speaks about compassionate capitalism, why shouldn’t we be talking about compassionate unionism? IT professionals across the board are not keen on strikes and violent protests,” she said.
Murthy had told a business news channel that unionism may appear to be a good solution, but in the long term it will fall into the hands of people, whose decision may not be in the best interest of IT industry, which is not good for youngsters and IT industry leaders. He also said IT leaders should embrace compassionate capitalism, if not the affected people who have lost jobs will embrace unions.
All India IT Employees Association President Muqeemuddin said there are several mechanisms, other than hartals and strikes, to put pressure on the government, one of the most potent being the social media. “Social media plays a very important role in galvanising people, and putting tremendous pressure on the system and governments.. We have seen it happening for ourselves.. Many people who were laid off got in touch with us via social media to talk about injustice meted out to them,” he said.
However, the IT employees associations have backed Murthy’s call to IT companies to protect the jobs of youngsters by asking senior executives to take pay cuts. “I do not understand how compassion goes hand in hand with capitalism where the main aim is to earn profits.However, it is a welcome sign that a person like Narayana Murthy has shown some concern over IT layoffs,” Vasumathi said. Lauding Murthy’s pay-cut remarks, Muqeemuddin urged the Infosys Co-Founder to donate some money earned through various stock and deposit portfolios to Infosys to protect youngsters who lose jobs due to automation and artificial intelligence. “By sharing some money with the company, this way he can show the world that he is really concerned about the well-being of IT professionals,” he said. Rajesh of FITE Bengaluru Chapter also welcomed Murthy’s call to IT industry leaders to invest heavily in new training programmes to re-skill a large number of youngsters.