The National Democratic Labour Front’s IT Employees wing is planning to approach the Madras High Court against what it calls the arbitrary downsizing of employees by Cognizant and Wipro. It says the two companies are planning to lay off as many as 30,000 employees between them.
Matters are coming to a head for India’s software industry, buffeted by a slowdown in its core businesses. Employees in IT campuses across the country are rallying together against company managements intent on sacking them.
The National Democratic Labour Front (NDLF)’s IT Employees wing is planning to approach the Madras High Court against what it calls the arbitrary downsizing of employees by Cognizant and Wipro. It says the two companies are planning to lay off as many as 30,000 employees between them.
The Tamil Nadu-based NDLF has approached the Labour Commissioner and Labour Secretary with their grievances against the two companies, which are forcing employees to resign on grounds of poor performance. Employees, however, claim that the ratings are arbitrary and the decision to give them poor ratings was a premeditated decision and not genuinely linked to performance.
NDLF is reaching out to IT employees across India to come together to form unions in different states. Currently, NDLF is only present in Tamil Nadu and Telengana but it is in talks with employees across IT campuses in Pune, Bengaluru, Gurugram and Kolkata.
While the list of employees who are being asked to resign on pretext of performance is increasing every passing day across India, they are not part of any union and are having to represent their case as individuals before the Labour Department after resigning. They also believe they may not get a fair hearing if they go to the governments involved.
Months before their appraisals, these employees have been pulled out of projects and benched, said S Kumar, a member of National Democratic Labour Front’s IT Employees Wing.
Kumar said employees have been asked to give details on the arbitrary performance ratings that have been given to them and the systematic manner in which they have been pulled off projects.
Kumar said: “We have been in touch with several managers who have been asked to identify people in their teams who have to be given MS (meets some expectations) rating, which is among the lowest ratings.”
Employees, who have been identified by Wipro and Cognizant, are refusing to resign until there is some decision that comes from the Labour Department. Unions are asking for better severance packages and not the two-months basic pay that companies are offering.NDLF says IT industry body Nasscom and the respective companies are gathering responses which the state Labour Department had demanded.