Friday, June 2, 2017

Pune techies raise voice on 'illegal’ layoffs


PUNE: Former employees of IT firms including Cognizant, Tech Mahindra and Wipro in Pune on Thursday filed separate petitions with the Maharashtra Commissioner of Labour against their former employers saying that their services have been terminated illegally. 

The petitions were filed through the Forum of IT Employees (FITE), a Chennai-headquartered body, which, over the last few weeks has filed similar petitions in Chennai and Hyderabad. So far, about 25 people have filed petitions in Pune. 

Similar petitions were filed by FITE in Bengaluru against Wipro and Tech Mahindra, said FITE. In an emailed statement, Tech Mahindra said: "We continue to implement strategies to meet the changing demands of business in the current global economic environment.

As a performance-driven organisation, we assess employee performance on a regular basis and take necessary actions." Wipro hadn't responded to emails. Meanwhile, the Additional Commissioner of Labour Nikhil Walke met with the Cognizant management and employees and urged them to be more transparent with the employees. 

"It was a positive meeting," Elavarasan Raja, an FITE representative in Pune, said. A Cognizant spokesperson said: "We reiterated that Cognizant has not conducted any layoffs and changes resulting from the company's performance review process are consistent with the standard practice that has been followed by the IT industry for many years. We continue to enhance our capabilities and hire for roles across all our practice areas in the company." 

A common complaint was that there had been no written communication regarding the layoffs from the organisations, with employees alleging that they've been asked to put in their papers verbally. A Tech Mahindra employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity said that the HR team was calling people up on the phone and asking them to resign, or else their services would be terminated. They alleged that there was no correlation with the annual performance rankings as even mid-level performers had been asked to resign. 

Raja said that FITE has been receiving over 500 calls a day from IT employees across the country with similar stories, both from people who had been laid off, and those who feared this was going to happen in their organisation. Former employees of both Wipro and Cognizant said that any requests to be put on a performance improvement plan (PIP) had been declined.


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