Trouble mounts for IT companies as laid off employees move Labour Court

Rujuta Parekh
Tuesday, 31 October 2017

“Many employees are affected by the layoff strategy of IT companies and have filed petitions against their illegal terminations from the job with guidance and support from Forum for IT Employees (FITE). In some cases, representatives from the organisations tried to reconcile the differences with the affected employees in the meetings organised at the Labour Commissioner’s office." said Elavarasan Raja.

PUNE: Trouble for Information Technology (IT) companies may be mounting with former employees, who were illegally terminated, are moving the Labour Court seeking justice. While nine employees of Tech Mahindra have already gone to the court and eight others are also set to move to the Labour Court in the coming days. 

Nine Tech Mahindra employees have filed a Statement of Claim at the Labour Court after the reconciliation efforts at the Labour Commissioner’s office failed. “Many employees are affected by the layoff strategy of IT companies and have filed petitions against their illegal terminations from the job with guidance and support from Forum for IT Employees (FITE). In some cases, representatives from the organisations tried to reconcile the differences with the affected employees in the meetings organised at the Labour Commissioner’s office. However, in most of the cases, those efforts failed. The employees whose reconciliation efforts had failed have moved the Labour Court to get justice. Vakalathnama and Statement of Claim had been filed for nine Tech Mahindra employees in the Labour Court,” said Elavarasan Raja, General Secretary, FITE, Maharashtra. 

According to Raja, there are three main demands that the aggrieved employees have made in the Statement of Claim. “The first demand is that employees should be reinstated with their job. Second, they have stated that the employees should get back wages, paid from the date of termination. Lastly, they have also asked for interim relief until their case is closed,” he said. 

He further mentioned that despite the public apology by Anand Mahindra on the issue of layoffs, the company has continued to terminate people. “The strategy of laying off people has changed at several IT companies. About 1,000 employees in Maharashtra have already been moved from the permanent category to contract employees with six-month contracts. This has enabled them to layoff people easily. We have asked all our members to avoid signing anything in case they are asked to for laying odd purposes,” he added. 

Raja added that while the maximum cases by IT employees in Pune are by aggrieved Tech Mahindra employees, there are two other cases in the Labour Court, against Wipro and Syntel. “In a similar way, there are cases being registered against numerous IT companies across the country. Employees, who were illegally terminated, have filed cases against Wipro, HP, HCL and other companies in Hyderabad, Kolkata and other cities as well,” he said. 

He said that the cases are being handled by Advocate Anoop Awasthi (ex-Navy) with appropriate guidance from FITE. The next hearing of these cases is scheduled on December 4, 2017.

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