A reconciliation meeting between employees of IT companies who lost their jobs and representatives of Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS), Tech Mahindra, Wipro and Vodafone was held at the labour commissioner’s office in Pune on Thursday. Nikhil Walke, the assistant labour commissioner, said it is for the first time that their office had seen so many people from the IT industry approaching them due to issues related to retrenchment. “This indicates that there is a problem in the industry and it needs to be looked at,” Walke said. The assistant labour commissioner said that the department would look into the petitions filed by employees and call for another hearing in eight to ten days. The department will look into applicability of the laws and what can be done and which forum they could approach and under which laws, Walke said. Around 40 employees from Cognizant Technology, Tech Mahindra, Wipro and Vodafone through the Pune chapter of Forum of IT Employees (FITE) had filed a petition in the labour commissioner’s office against their alleged layoffs/ forced resignations and unfair treatment at these companies.
Seven employees of Syntel joined on Thursday with fresh petition against their “illegal termination”.
HR representatives of Cognizant, Tech Mahindra and Vodafone were present at the hearing held in Pune while Wipro representatives did not turn up for the hearing.
The IT companies challenged the jurisdiction of the labour commissioner to hear the case. They also claimed as some of their operations were in IT SEZs they enjoyed exemption from many of the labour laws and that their employees did not come under the Industrial Disputes Act.
Employees of these companies complained of their forced resignations at very short notice without explaining any valid reason but citing bad performance and low rating. They alleged that the HR and leadership did not allow any redressal or recourse. They also alleged that the HR was denying them experience certificate or positive reference for future employment. Walke said they will be verifying all this before taking any decision. But instead of going into legality they would try and sort out these issues through talks and conciliation.