Forum of IT Professionals (ForIT) organised a press conference on “Exposing the lies and crimes inside IT” on 8th Sep, 2017 at Hitec City, Hyderabad. The conference was attended by over 50 IT professionals who were illegally retrenched.
Kiran Chandra, founder member of ForIT, addressed the press and stated that “Over 25,000 people have been retrenched illegally in Hyderabad this year alone. And over the last three years, more than 1,00,000 people have been retrenched. This is only a fraction of the total number of IT employees who were retrenched across the country.”
“There are multiple laws enacted to protect the interests of the employees. However, the government has been lax in implementing these measures, while the corporate organisations pay no heed to them at all. In fact, even the offer letters issues by most of these companies will not stand the test of law. And based on these invalid offer letters, companies proceed to terminate employees.”
He demanded the government immediately release a white-paper on the implementation and violation of laws in the IT industry. Specifically, Kiran demanded that the government address the violations of the following laws:
• Industrial Disputes Act
• Shops and Establishments Act
• Gratuity Act
• Payment of Wages Act
• Industrial Employment Standing Orders
“All the employees who have been retrenched or coerced into resigning from their organisations should be immediately taken back into their jobs. The resignations, made under force and coercion, are legally void. ForIT demands that all companies stop these illegal activities. The government should address these illegalities in their white-paper and take strict action against law-breakers”, said Kiran.
Citing a few statistics, he mentioned that there has been a net decline in employment at TCS, Infosys, HCL, TechM. And this is while all they have posted profits – for example, Tech Mahindra profits in the first quarter of this financial year is 798.6 crores with an increase of 35.8% compared to the previous quarter. CP Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra, drew a salary of 150 crores, which is more than the entire boards of some other companies.
“Even the severance package mentioned by these companies is a joke. A promise of 3-month basic pay is utter hogwash. The basic pay is a very minor component in the salaries of IT employees. This is a benefit to the managements and not the employees – by way of lesser Provident Fund contribution by the employer, lesser gratuity”, another member from ForIT mentioned (gratuity is calculated based on the basic pay).
Some of the employees who were present shared their stories of retrenchment:
An employee, who postponed a medical procedure for over 9 moths due to project pressures, finally took a sick leave to get a surgery done. And while he was on this approved sick leave, he received a termination letter, without any reason or cause specified.
Another person, who went on leave to take care of his ailing father, was asked to resign over a phone call. When the employee said that he would like to talk in person when he comes back to office, the management indulged in a fraud by resigning on his behalf. In fact, so careless were they with respect to breaking laws that they even sent him an SMS mentioning that the same.
And it doesn’t stop here, from women who were asked to leave just after being back from maternity break to downgrading the performance of women employees who were getting married, the atrocities are endless.
“ForIT demands that the government act immediately and stop these illegal acts. ForIT also demands that the companies immediately call back all the retrenched employees, take them back into their jobs and start conciliation procedure.”, concluded Kiran Chandra.