Indian IT employees, who have ironically been caught at the receiving end of technology and are fighting to avoid getting laid off, have received backing from the government in Karnataka. Karnataka government has assured members of an association of IT employees that it will look into their problems, including layoffs.
Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge has informed All India IT Employees Association he will meet them ‘soon’ to discuss the issues. “We are here to listen to them and will do all possible to help them,” Kharge said, according to a PTI report. He had earlier asked the affected IT employees to lodge a complaint with the labour department adding that the government will look into the matter and provide legal assistance if the affected or laid off employees approach it like their counterparts in Tamil Nadu.
Earlier, the Chennai labour commissioner had asked the aggrieved employees impacted by IT services major Cognizant’s decision to reduce its headcount, to officially raise an industrial dispute before the conciliation officer individually. In a communication to the Forum for IT Employees (FITE) and New Democratic Labour Front (NDLF-IT), the two unions spearheading the cause of IT employees, the commissioner said the dispute can be raised under Section 2A of the Industrial Disputes Act, with regard to termination of employees.
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However, the labour department ordered that as far as other issues regarding performance appraisal were concerned, an industrial dispute may be raised by trade unions under Section 2(k) of the Industrial Disputes Act, before the appropriate forum. The labour department had held meetings with management representatives of Cognizant and FITE on the alleged illegal termination and conducted an inquiry with IT company’s management after complaints of mass layoffs.
Prior to these developments, the office of the Telangana Joint Labour Commissioner had closed layoff cases of eight Cognizant workers in favour of the employees. “We have closed the case in favour of affected employees and suggested the company management to continue everybody and hold one – on – one discussion to resolve the issue,” Telangana Joint Labour Commissioner Chandra Shekaram had told PTI.
The labour department also has advised employees not to resign. “We have advised the employees not to tender resignation because once they did that they would lose their right to petition us or move labour courts. A sacked employee has all the right to contest his termination,” Shekaram said.