By our Mumbai Correspondent, 20 December, 2017
We had reported earlier about the increasing insecurity of jobs in the IT sector. Over the last couple of months it is being reported in the press that more and more companies are continuing to throw out IT professionals. Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Capgemini, TCS, Cognizant, L&T Infotech, and Reliance Communications are some of the big companies among them. In November 2017 itself Reliance Communications threw out almost 3000 IT professionals.
In December 2017, Verizon Data Services India (VDSI) which is nothing but the India operations of the US based multinational Verizon, threw out almost 1000 IT professionals. In the last 6 months as more and more IT companies started throwing out its employees, the employees also started raising their voices individually and also by joining some Union or the other. Employees also started using legal means to challenge the illegal terminations. One employee who was sacked from Tech Mahindra recorded his conversation with the HR executive which became viral exposing the manner and reasons for sacking IT professionals. That forced Anand Mahindra, the chieftain of Tech Mahindra to publically apologize. But corporate houses are well experienced to handle such opposition, especially when the employees are not organized.
Verizon, learning from Tech Mahindra experience is following a very sophisticated modus operandi. The targeted employee is summoned to a cabin with all his belongings. His mobile is confiscated before entering the cabin. In the cabin an HR representative, a psychiatrist (!!!) and a few well- built musclemen are present. A pre-typed resignation letter is ready and the employee is told to sign the letter. If an employee is courageous and refuses to budge then the psychiatrist and the musclemen (bouncers!) put huge mental and physical pressure on the employee. The employee is then given a cheque which is ready, covering 2 months’ salary for the notice period and 1 month salary for every year of service with the company. And then the employee is physically removed from the office by the bouncers. His access to the company internet is of course immediately blocked. By working in this way the company manages to follow most of the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, thus making this absolutely unjust dealing “legal”.
All these happenings in the IT sector clearly underscore once again, the need for IT professionals to organize in unions. It is imperative that they join hands with crores of other working people of our country to fight against all such injustice.
It is now white collar IT professionals who have started feeling this “injustice” which is so commonly faced by crores of permanent and contract workers across various sectors. It is so because this is what the existing system in our country is all about. All who sell their labor power, be it physical labor of blue collar workers or intellectual labor of white collar workers, get nothing much but their salaries while the owners of the companies keep pocketing billions as profit. But as soon as the owners’ profits start coming under pressure, the employees are the first to face the consequences, initially by means of freezing or reduction of their wages and later by facing termination.
We all need to question this. Can we allow greed of a few to wreak havoc on the majority? Or should we fight for power in the hands of people, for Lok Raj, where such anti-people activities will not be allowed?