NEW DELHI: Fear of large scale retrenchment for the first time prompted professionals from the IT industry to come together under one platform to initiate a joint struggle on Sunday. After job cuts at TCS and fearing similar action by other companies, IT professionals from TCS, Wipro, IBM, HCL, Tech Mahindra, Deloitte, Samsung, Accenture from locations like Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore gathered in the capital to meet the IT Professional Welfare Association (ITPWA) and discuss “Job Security in IT Industry”.
Former additional solicitor general of India, Indira Jaisingh, also briefed the professionals on various legal aspects. After the meeting, ITPWA staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar raising slogans demanding job security and reinstatement of all affected employees. They also took a resolution to widen their network and carry forward the fight.
Prabir Purakayastha of Knowledge Commons spoke about the logical fallacies being propagated by the companies as the reasons for retrenchment. “Job cuts at a time when most IT companies are claiming significant growth and having good bookings is patently illegal,” he said.
IT professionals claimed the companies are firing those with 8-10 years of experience in the name of restructuring their workforce.
Kiran Chandra, a founder of the Free Software Movement of India, said in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana the firms fall under the Shops and Establishment Act, while in Karnataka they are under industries.
Jaisingh explained various sections and definitions of the Industrial Dispute Act and whether it is applicable to IT employees. She said: “The roles and responsibilities of these employees qualify them as ‘workmen’.” She also explained various conditions prerequisites for retrenchment of employees, like proper notice need to be given to the employees with proper reasons, compensation of 15 days per year of service need to be provided and appropriate authorities need to be informed.
A resolution was passed demanding reinstatement of all affected employees, revoking exemption to IT companies from labour laws, to check the menace of unjustified retrenchment, constitute internal complaints committees for prevention and redressal of sexual harassment and necessary actions to curb fake companies.