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Last Updated : May 31, 2017 02:11 PM IST

Chennai labour chief advises aggrieved Cognizant employees on what to do next

The labour department also asked employees to raise concerns related to performance appraisal before appropriate forum through trade unions under Section 2(k) of the Industrial Disputes Act.

The Chennai Labour commissioner has asked Cognizant employees affected by the IT major's efforts to reduce headcount to raise industrial disputes before a conciliation officer individually.

In a communication with the Forum for IT Employees (FITE) and New Democratic Labour Front (NDLF-IT) - the two unions fighting for the cause of IT employees regarding their termination - the commissioner said the dispute can be raised under Section 2A of the Industrial Disputes Act, according to a report in Financial Express

The labour department also asked employees to raise concerns related to performance appraisal before appropriate forum through trade unions under Section 2(k) of the Industrial Disputes Act.

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Over the past one month, several media reports have claimed that Cognizant plans to lay off around 6,000 people.

However, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Marketing at Cognizant, Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, denied such plans. He told Moneycontrol"There have been no layoffs and these are only performance management measures. All of us are hiring. Cognizant hired thousands of people just in the March 2017 quarter".

Apart from the mass layoffs, IT employees had raised concerns over voluntary separation programmes (VSPs), performance appraisals and alleged retrenchment of Indian employees to ramp up hire in US.

Earlier this year, Cognizant for the first time offered its top executives-directors, associate VPs and senior VPs - a voluntary separation package (VSPs), to accelerate its shift to digital.

However, in a letter to employees, Cognizant president Rajeev Mehta emphasised that the programme is voluntary.

According to a Bloomberg Quint report, Mehta said, “As its name makes it clear, the VSP is voluntary. No one is required or even asked to participate. We believe, this programme benefits associates who have opted in and are seeking to make a change in their career".

According to a Livemint report, the IT company had been planning to ramp up US hiring. This led to various speculations around its connection with the retrenchment of Indian employees at a cost of hiring locals in the US.

Mehta admitted to ramping up US hiring but denied its relation to retrenchment in India. "We continue to hire in local markets around the world. We have been ramping up our recruiting efforts in US for a number of years and will continue to do so while hiring in most other parts of the world including India," Mehta wrote.
First Published on May 31, 2017 02:11 pm
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