IT employees union UNITE warns firms on workforce reduction

“This act of the IT majors Cognizant, Infosys and Capgemini is against the law of the land and it is illegal. But the government of India and Tamil Nadu are indifferent to these practices,” Union of IT and ITES Employees (UNITE) said.

November 06, 2019 06:27 pm | Updated 07:18 pm IST - CHENNAI

Cognizant had earlier announced that it has decided to remove approximately 10,000-12,000 mid-to-senior level associates worldwide from their current roles in coming quarters.

Cognizant had earlier announced that it has decided to remove approximately 10,000-12,000 mid-to-senior level associates worldwide from their current roles in coming quarters.

Union of IT and ITES Employees (UNITE) on November 6 said that it has submitted a memorandum to the Commissioner of Labour, Tamil Nadu regarding the recent announcements by IT firms on reduction of workforce.

In a statement, UNITE said that Indian IT majors Cognizant, Infosys, and Capgemini have announced mass retrenchments in the name of “2020 fit for growth plan”, “role rationalisation” and “restructuring”.

“This act of the IT majors is against the law of the land and it is illegal. But the government of India and Tamil Nadu are indifferent to these practices,” it added. The union also alleged that inspite of recording high financial gains in the last quarter, these companies are retrenching its employees which is unwarranted.

UNITE’s general secretary, Alagunambi Welkin, told The Hindu that they have requested the Labour Commissioner to bring the management of firms which have announced workforce reduction along with industry body NASSCOM.

Last week, Cognizant while announcing its third quarter results said that the company has made the difficult decision to remove approximately 10,000-12,000 mid-to-senior level associates worldwide from their current roles in coming quarters. The move is expected to lead to a net reduction of approximately 5,000 to 7,000 roles (about 2% of the company’s total population), as the company aims to reskill and redeploy approximately 5,000 of the total associates impacted.

“With this, more than 3,000 employees may lose their jobs in the state of Tamil Nadu. Infosys announced that they will be sending out 10% of its mid and senior level employees and CapGemini has announced a similar plan to oust 500 of its Indian employees,” UNITE mentioned in its statement.

Last year Verizon had voluntarily sent home more than 3,500 employees, including 900 in Tamil Nadu. UNITE had then intervened and filed a petition before labour authorities. “This sort of retrenchment has become a day to day affair of the IT companies and the labour authorities are silent on this very important issue,” added Mr. Welkin.

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