On Saturday morning, a group of IT workers in the city participated in two bike rallies to flag off an awareness campaign to tackle the issue of employment-related fraud in the industry.

Two major cases

Organised by the ITEC, an association of IT/ITeS employees, around 60 technology professionals rode on their bikes from two key points: one, Electrosys, a firm in Jivan Bima Nagar that duped over 150 freshers by collecting deposits from them and shutting shop overnight, and another in Banashankari where another fly-by-night operator had been cheating its employees. The two cases, where ITEC had intervened to provide legal and other support to the employees, are indicative of a larger malaise, protesters said.

Suresh Kodoor, CEO of Trizile Technologies and ITEC member, said they found employment-related frauds were aplenty in the industry, where there is little regulation. Fly-by-night operators, HR agents and fake placement scams have been reported frequently in recent months. “This rally is the beginning of a two-month campaign where we hope to hold public meetings and involve tech employees to draw up solutions, and also to create awareness and caution freshers and job aspirants against these frauds,” he said. ITEC also proposes to hold a convention, where labour experts and industry professionals will discuss on what can be done. A White Paper emerging from this campaign and conference will be presented to the Government.

‘Training charges'

A victim of fraud told The Hindu that he had fallen prey to an agent who told him that the job was a secure one. He had paid Rs. 1.3 lakh as “training charges”, for the job. Candidates had paid anywhere between Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 1.5 lakh. Others said this was a “routine practice” in smaller companies.

Police inaction

ITEC members also alleged that often in such cases the police appeared to be in cahoots with the employers. “We have been following up on a few cases and apart from repeated promises we have not seen any will to punish the offenders.” Most of these candidates are young, and more often than not from outside Karnataka, or tier-II cities in the State.

“There is a clear need for government intervention. Being entirely unregulated, such cases are on the rise,” another member said.

Keywords: job fraud

More In: Bengaluru