Members of Forum For IT Employees will meet Karnataka IT Minister Priyank Kharge tomorrow to seek government intervention to stop ‘arbitrary’ IT layoffs and press for withdrawal of its decision to exempt IT companies from labour law, among various demands. “Karnataka IT Minister has agreed to meet FITE members tomorrow. Among other demands, we will ask the minister to reconsider the government’s decision to exempt IT companies from labour law and bring it under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act,” Rajesh of FITE Bengaluru Chapter told PTI here. Rajesh said the cabinet had in October 2013 decided to exempt IT companies from labour law for further five years.
The attempt by the state to bring the sector under the law in March 2013 had caused panic among software companies, which are just slowly recovering from a global economic slump. Among other demands, FITE members will also seek intervention of Karnataka and central government to address illegal and ‘arbitary’ termination of IT professionals by companies, including Tech Mahindra and Infosys, Rajesh said. “The state and central governments must intervene and demand that firms abide by labour laws and end the layoffs. It also should instruct companies to stop arbitrary layoffs,” he said.
Rajesh also said the government should take stringent measures such as revoking benefits given by it to IT companies in the name of job creation for decades. “FITE is also demanding companies put an end to forced resignations and follow formal procedures and modes of communication,” Rajesh said. Companies should also focus on retraining and increase up-skilling efforts instead of laying off employees, he added. Companies must limit working hours, as for now, they are working for 12 to 14 hours a day, Rajesh said. After petitioning Telengana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu governments, FITE approached the labour commission in Bengaluru to submit a petition in this regard. Earlier, Kharge had expressed willingness to meet IT employees associations.
In a recent interview to PTI, he had also said the government would look into the matter and provide legal assistance if affected or laid off employees approach it like their counterparts in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Telengana. Kharge had also urged the affected professionals to lodge a complaint with the labour department. Moreover, All India IT Employees Association President Syed Muqueemuddin had shot off an email to Kharge, seeking an urgent meeting to request the government to take appropriate corrective actions and brief him on the current situation, including layoffs.
Muqueemuddin has been in touch with various associations to organise a united front to hold talks with the government to resolve their problems. He said the united front would urge the government to hold an open house discussion by inviting all stakeholders, including IT captains and employees.