IT workers’ union initiates legal action against Co. over layoffs despite govt advisory

A trade union of information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services employees in Karnataka has claimed that the sector has been slashing jobs and resorting to pay cuts since May.

The Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union, a registered body that represents over 1000 members from the sector, claimed that at least 3,500 jobs may have been cut in the small and medium companies.

“Some medium and small companies have been retrenching even during the lockdown and we have raised complaints not only here (Karnataka) but also with the central labour ministry,” Suraj Nidiyanga, secretary of the union, said.

This goes against directives of both the Centre and the state that had asked companies not to lay off staff during the covid-19 induced lockdown, he said.

Following complaints from employees of layoffs at IT major Cognizant, KITU said it had taken legal action in this regard. According to KITU, several employees at Cognizant’s offices in Bengaluru, Chennai and other cities had approached the union with complaints of having been forced to resign. The employees’ body had accordingly resorted to legal action against the company and its management.

However, a Cognizant spokesperson called these allegations inaccurate, adding that performance management is a normal process across the IT sector.