IT Employees Retrenchment Reaches New Low
IT employees are being retrenched in an unimaginable way. Now, it is Verizon that has introduced a new modus operandi in firing employees. Hooligans, goons, henchmen and even doctors (psychiatrists in all probability) accompany the HR managers while firing employees. Security was beefed up in the campuses of Verizon across the country. Each floor witnessed security guards patrolling the work areas and escorting IT professionals in and out of their work stations.
Rajesh (name changed), an IT professional with experience of 12 years in Verizon was asked to resign or face termination. His mobile phone was taken by bouncers and checked for audio recordings. The phone was handed over to him when he was leaving the room. He was given 2 minutes to make a decision, surrounded by bouncers and the doctor. Facing him was the HR team that was pushing him to resign saying that the compensation they were providing was good. He was threatened with termination while being told that termination could scar his reputation. When he resisted resigning through the coercive tactics, and tried getting up, the bouncers pushed him back to the seat. He was not allowed to move out without signing the resignation papers. The entire effort on the part of the team in the room was to break the morale and esteem of the individual and to create a situation which left no option for the employee but to resign. The doctor was counselling Rajesh on how to keep his stress levels low and make a wise decision. The only thing missing in the scene replicating that of a movie, was forcibly taking his thumb imprint on a piece of paper.
Harsha from TechMahindra filed a petition with the labour commissioner when he was threatened saying he would be sacked. Section 47(1) of the Shops and Establishments Act of Telangana and AP do not allow any action on the employee while a petition is pending. The management orally promised to take him back into the projects once he takes back the petition. Harsha took back the petition in good faith and gave the withdrawal report to TechMahindra management. Later, Harsha was called in for a meeting and again coerced to resign, now on a bond paper called a ‘separation agreement’, thereby making sure he could not go and challenge the managements nefarious act.
Ramesh and his colleagues in Cognizant have been asked to move to what the company said was a client location. Their contract in the new location was not renewed even after four months. The tactics of the employers is to violate the law while the governments back them, and if the employees want, they can go to the court of law. The question that arises now is what the Labour Department is really meant for? The labour commissioners are referring the employees to the labour courts to file cases. There is no one to answer question about who shall implement the labour laws. Both the labour department and the governments are silent.
Forum of IT Professionals (ForIT) condemns the heinous acts on the part of Verizon management and expresses its solidarity with the affected employees. Kiran Chandra from ForIT said, “we are now working towards organising a resistance.” He has demanded that the government intervene and stop retrenchments and re-hire the employees immediately. “The management and the higher ups involved in such a coercion are to be booked under law and the government should initiate immediate action.”, he added.
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